Look at your monitor closer while you read this, until what you can only see are the words and the black background. When you need to look away: close your eyes, turn your head, and look closer. Zoom out only at the end.
It was a cold September night of 2006.
By the pool of an upscale apartment in one of the better sides of the city.
A pipe, that took us all to the motherland.
It was the best feeling (amongst the few good ones) I had in many years. Maltreated as a child until today that I am 2 decades old, you know I have some pent-up issues.
In elementary school I was always put in the advanced classes (except for math, because I was only average) because I exceeded expectations of my teachers back then. I started learning swimming at age 5, and started to compete at 7. I was pretty good. But not as good in Science, History, and English. I had my first experience at sex at age 12, and the girl was 15 at that time so I was sort of taught how to do it. I had my first girlfriend around that time too, she wasn’t the girl I lost my virginity to, but she is my most recent ex-girlfriend. I was bullied for being part-Asian. It wasn’t all that great. Stuff like, my mom was probably a ‘comfort woman’ to my Caucasian father, et al. It was a long list of hurtful moments. Some of those people lost their milk teeth early. That aside, I graduated top of the class, and varsity captain of the junior swim team.
High school was something short of a nightmare. I spent a semester of it in the States and the rest of it in my mother’s homeland. I attended freshman year at an elite, exclusive all-boys, Jesuit Catholic university. Even then, I hated sausage fests…and boy was this school boring. Girls only existed in the colleges…and some of those girls are in local show business now. Yeah, it was pretty boring. So I was transferred over to a semi-private school near the ass-end of town. It was a big change because most of the people there spoke their minds when their thoughts only dwell on the bad things about you. Its pretty obvious that this country puts a premium on their people with Caucasian descent. But they don’t always like that they have to treat us special, like it was written in the stars that we were of superior birth and they, the purebreds, were the opposite. It was a tough time too.
Around 14 years old I found out that the person that was the source of my maltreatment was not my real father. I should have known that I was of different descent. I didn’t know that around that time too. I’ve learned that my father died of a stroke when I was 9. My mom and my dad separated before my fraternal twin sister and I were born. I had two half sisters from my father’s first family and they were twins too. A lot to take in one paragraph right? Imagine the feeling I had. I couldn’t stand the fact that I thought I was given the right punishment just because I thought he was my father and he would know what’s best for me more than I.
Here’s the part that inspired the title. Around the second year of high school, I was in the top class, the first 40 students with the highest grades. But I hung out with the guys from the 3rd class. Cutting classes, drinking, the works. Thus began a downward spiral. I learned how to smoke cigarettes, and drink (more, since I officially learned to drink around middle school)…and eventually smoke weed and use cocaine. It took a bit of a toll on my grades and my performance with the swim team there. My girlfriend never suspected that I was using, but she sensed that I was smoking cigs, and she hated that. So I never did it in front of her, and lied whenever I can. My mom and stepfather never knew. They haven’t had that much time to do so anyway. So much stuff happened in the middle that I couldn’t remember any of it. The using, having fun, the women, etc. It was pretty wild. After all the setbacks, I graduated only top 6 with honors. I was not captain of the swim team anymore.
I shaped up in college, but eventually realizing that life is so much better with weed. Forgot all about the coke though, that was just crazy. I stopped swimming after freshman year and began gaining weight. I was still in the top class, began joining all these extra and co-curricular activities. Of course it would be like high school only more wild. The parties were longer and the girls were hotter. I cannot believe I have achieved balance in my school life and party life. I graduated top 2 of the class as Magna Cum Laude. I’m improved now, less of a party-goer but aside from that all the same. I’ve lost weight, but unlike high school, my body didn’t look like it was slowly sinking and wasting. I still have most of my issues but I’m learning to hide them and cope. I need to learn to be content with second place, know that I cannot be the best all the time, love myself (in order to love others), and trust God. I’m slowly waking up from the daydream that has been going on since high school. Slowly discovering the happiness in life.
Take a deep breath after you slowly pan your head farther from your screen.