“It’s the going, not the getting there that matters” I just didn’t understand why it had to be me. I always looked up to my siblings so much because, to me, they seemed so perfect. All I knew was that I could not live up to the expectations of my family and friends. Most importantly I could not live up to my own expectations. Why was I the sibling with all these problems? I didn’t understand why I needed medication for ADD and then for my anxiety. Everyone else I know gets through life without this medicine so why can’t I? I shouldn’t need a pill to help me. I couldn’t even count the number of times I flushed the toilet in a day anymore. It was scary, and embarrassing.
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Everyday my mom would email to me articles about famous people who had anxiety. I read articles about Adele throwing up before every performance. John Mayer and all of my favorite singers had the problem of anxiety. But what was that supposed to do? Was it supposed to make me feel better because someone famous had problems like me?
Test taking was one of my biggest problems. I have never been a good test taker. Nevertheless, not everyone is good at that. When I started failing tests, I realized that I had to stay up all night studying. It was unbelievably frustrating and I didn’t know exactly what to do. Each school day became a battle and every test left me wounded and exhausted, barely able to arise the next day to fight on. My frustrations turned to depression and my depression made me suicidal.
These failing grades disappointed my teachers and me as well. I became very frustrated by my performance every day. It appeared that I was childish and didn’t care at all. Apparently, I was the one supplying the study guide for the whole section and at the same time staying up all night studying for the test. The day after, I would retake tests in my teacher’s office and get an A. Why couldn’t I do it right the first time? I came to understand that what Perrett says about self awareness is very true.
Self awareness is the ability to recognize one’s strengths, personality, weakness, likes, and dislikes. To be successful in one’s endeavor, the importance of self awareness in providing the necessary motivation cannot be overlooked. People must learn to be independent in the society. In addition, without self awareness one may sometimes be led astray. Those closest to an individual are sincere and honest in their eagerness to guide that person through the journey of life. I do appreciate the chance that my teacher gave me to redo the test. This gave me an opportunity to recognize that I am not a dull student.
It is at this point that I learnt that self confidence is an important virtue that all individuals must acquire. The fact that other stars have flaws does not justify that we accept mediocrity when in essence we can do better. Self awareness enables one to recollect him/herself as an entity separate from the surrounding and other people as well. I have learnt that I should not compare myself with anyone else including my siblings since everyone is born with unique and rare abilities.
My struggle with school and especially test turned out to arise from something that was totally beyond my human control. I had been diagnosed with ADD. On my own, I would never have approached a professional and questioned him about my mental capabilities, but with the support of my family, friends, and teachers I was able to improve my grades.
When I was finally pulled from the darkness of my depression, I understood that everything in life could not be conquered individually. Every situation is unique. The fact that other stars have flaws does not justify that we accept mediocrity when in essence we can do better. Self-awareness is a tool that every individual should have, and as a philosophy for life self awareness enables one to obtain the necessary savvy to live life to the fullest. Human interaction provides support, insight, and guidance that would be absent in isolation.
When I retook my test a second time, I realized that I was not a damn student but rather I was suffering from lack of self awareness. I strongly agree with the philosophical view of Rene Descartes that ‘as a man thinks, so he is”. It is very true that the perception of an individual shapes all areas of his life. Self awareness entails being conscious of one’s own uniqueness and abilities. It also gives one the wisdom to understand others. I have learnt that comparison with others is a limitation as well as a point self denial.
My teacher, Mr, Hassan helped me to understand the importance of self awareness. I was afraid when he called me to his office. It was obvious to me that he would reprimand me for my poor performance. As I sat calm, I waited for a word from him. He slammed his chair close and expressed confidence that I would do better. He spent the next fifteen minutes assuring me that I had all it takes to pass the test. “Marie, do you know that it takes a shift in one’s thoughts to succeed?’ he asked. At this moment, I realized that I was wrong that success has its owners. After a few minutes of questioning, he said’ you are not stupid, you have ADD”. This was a sigh of relief for me. He allowed me to retake the test at the office and to my surprise, I scored an A.
From my few experiences in life, I have learnt that self awareness is important in mastering one’s self and realizing one’s dreams.