It’s a claustrophobic, suffocating, mass of non-entities that consume the space in which you live. You have to make small talk, confronting your own fears as you pass by the mirror plastered to the staircase wall. Your normally dexterous vocabulary has shrunk, until it consists solely of words relating to exams, and slyly, tucked underneath, but writhing and wriggling all the time, are your insecurities and fears.
Except insecurity has become a fashionable accessory to wear once success is validated, like an accepted PIN. You work so hard to achieve the grades to get to where you need to go, yet when you get there, suddenly you can neither admit, nor accept your talent, your abilities, your skills. Instead they hide behind a mask of humility which corrodes into insecurity, until you forget your abilities. Then the stalemate point arises. In retrospect you realise part of the peace you feel, is not an assurance that you’ve done enough, are prepared enough, and confident (just) enough, to enter into these exams, but the self-deprecating assumption that you have already failed, that trying now will have little or no impact.
Shame covers you. Shame at your complaisance. Shame at your denial. Shame at the you who is shaking their head from a year ago.
Why do we allow ourselves mock-humility? Why do we think it’s audaciously outrageous to admit what we are good at. Not in a selfish or proud way, but in a simple fact; just like the colour of our hair and eyes are simple facts.
We shy away, and inevitably hide away our talents and skills.
Morose. Jealous at those who have recognised their ability to gain a first and courageous enough to claim it, and their worth.
Escape. From the banalities of it all. The lies, the deceits, the fears.
When we look back in a few years, we’ll realise there was freedom before the doubt began all over again in the form of careers.