In math class people ask, “when will we ever use this?” They complain about solving for x. They ask, “why does 2+2=4?”
In math class all I wanted was to use my formula properly. To know that by solving for x, which equals five, I will advance to the next level, and that 2+2=4 because it does. Because that’s what they told me.
I’ve never questioned anything in my life.
I learn the rules of society, I learn to memorize what to do and what to say and how to be, but, it never occurs to me to think.
In pre-k - 12, we’re taught to learn and not believe. Not to understand and apply to life.
So now that it’s two years after graduation and I’m left to realize, I know how to recite Pythagorean theorem, I know how the aorta supplies oxygenated blood, and I know that lackadaisical is a cool sounding word meaning carelessly lazy, lacking enthusiasm and determination -
It’s been two years and I still don’t know how the square root of me plus you equals heartache and nonchalance, I don’t know how to get the oxygenated blood to keep pumping when I’m so afraid of his advances that my heart stops, and I don’t know how to stop being so damn lackadaisical.
I’ve never questioned anything in my entire life.
And now I’m left an empty shell of a person. A robot to compare against the anarchists. A cog in the machine.
I learnt everything so perfectly.
But I never learnt how to take care of myself. I never learnt how to pick myself up and move on. I never learnt how to look someone in the eyes and tell them how I feel and what I need.
I never learnt that it’s okay to be upset, to be sad or angry. I never learnt that depression is an illness and anxiety isn’t uncommon and that the only cure is to confront it and talk about it.
I never learnt that having borderline personality disorder didn’t equate insanity.
I learnt how to construct beautiful sentences that move others to tears in stories that meant getting an A.
But I never learnt how to say, “I need help” or “I’m not okay.”
I never questioned why I felt this way or why talking about it wasn’t okay.
I learnt that bruising men’s egos and breaking promises leads to war.
But I never learnt how to protect myself from men with bruised egos who make false confessions
I learnt if I look the wrong way, am the wrong size, react a certain way to criticism or demonstrate any emotions, there is something I’m doing wrong.
I learnt to speak when spoken to and never too loudly. Never too passionately.
I learnt to keep myself small and fragile and that boys don’t like girls who believe in things, let alone themselves.
I never questioned why I wasn’t able to be confident in myself.
I was taught to live by example. I was taught to compare myself to other people and compete. That love was something magical but that it breaks you. That if it doesn’t break you and that if they don’t leave then you’re not loving hard enough. Because when you love someone enough, your whole world comes together and falls apart for them, that when you love someone you give all of you until your face turns blue from lack of oxygen. I was taught to lose myself to the person I loved.
But I never learnt how to get myself back. How to be who I am.
I learnt to treat every one with kindness and dignity.
But never to treat myself with kindness and dignity. I was never taught that I deserve kindness and dignity from myself.
I was taught that some people grew up okay and lacked the faults that I have. That to them these things I was raised to believe sound far fetched and unlikely.
I learnt that happiness was real
But I never learnt how to be happy.
I never questioned anything in my life except me.