If you have another life, would you be a child prodigy?
Being a child prodigy for me means a burden since I wanted to figure out everything as soon as possible. It was always not enough! I remembered I was so “lazy” because I could finish everything so fast. I wanted more and more and more and nobody gave me anything yet I needed stimulation to make myself less bored. I hated boredom and that was why I started to make troubles. I got detentions for so many times and was still able to get away from it. I was so good at academics so logically I could be the poster student yet I was a bit chaotic to be the “regular poster student”. I was not good enough to be a poster student. I finally became one but my teachers kept reminding me of my whimsical approach at school. One of the teachers tried so hard to correct me but just to no avail. She wanted me to write neatly (I didn’t) so she made me write a lot of stuff. It was boring indeed yet I made it. She wanted me to sit quitely (I didn’t, of course!) and she punished me to stand up in front of the class (just to find that I became the class clown) then she put me in the other class (I cried but still made troubles in the next day!). She tried so hard to fix me but still, I remained being myself, who is a genius and chaotic at the same time.
My mom is also a person who tried to correct me later in my life. Being a child prodigy is not enough. I have grown up anyway! She feels that she has to be proud of a grown up version of me. A grown up prodigy. The 30 under 30. I made it at school so, logically, I should be successful at work, right? It’s completely wrong. We live in a society who is built on classes. Whether or not you like it, privileges play a big role. I didn’t attend “the big three” university, I live in a small town in Indonesia, I don’t really live a “comfortable” life. I relate a lot to one of Parasite scenes where the Kim family got their house drown and still managed to get work in the next day. Sometimes, I had to be in the position. I remember one day I was diagnosed on having a depression and I should have taken some rest. Despite taking a leave, I know I got bills to pay. I got work to have done while drowning in the flood of uneasiness. It feels like I am not enough eventhough I’ve tried so hard.
Despite my realistic attitude, I slowly learned that somehow I wanted to be the “real poster person” in my life. Somehow I wanted to be seen, got postered as a successful person and made my parents proud. Deep down inside I felt my hardwork got invalidated. As a child prodigy who grew up to be a regular person —definitely you can’t see me in the Forbes, I kept the idea of being the poster student to my grown up version. I was barely able to be a poster student, at least. Why can’t I be the poster person?
Accepting the need of being a poster student (or one of people in the 30 under 30 list) is a tremendous step I made. I realized that I am a complete person without being in any list. I don’t have to correct myself if it’s against my core beliefs. I am responsible on my own, and that is enough. Others’ standard of success doesn’t determine who I really am. It’s my responsibility to choose reaction of certain condition. A friend of mine, Antonio Aakash, who is also a blogger, made a post about the importance of speak up. In his blog, he said that if you speak up, it can change your life. I did that to my mom. Whenever she tries to correct me, I speak up and share my belief to her. At first, she got annoyed and jokingly accused me of being overly critical. I think getting critics is not easy for everyone. However, she slowly accepts me as a regular person. It’s enough for me. I am enough. Being myself without getting into “the it” list is enough.