Not Really Smart

1:35 AM Friday, March 20, 2009

In a conversation with a friend a few days ago, I mentioned to him that I liked reading books and studying when I was young, mainly because I wanted to look smart. If I could dish out facts, speak English well, write poems ("prithee, try to understand, that thy world is not here but in Camelot"), and get honors, I figured I'd be perceived as smart.

He chided me, saying that he at least wanted to learn. He was a geek that way, wanting to understand the whys and wherefores and how things can be improved.

Of course, I may have had really great potential. I learned easily enough. I got honors at school without me realizing that I was running for one. But as I grew more aware, the driving force became that i'd be perceived as smart.

A still resentful part of me will say, "After all, that was the only thing my parents, especially my Mom, ever noticed about me." I was the smart child. That was my role, being smart and not giving them problems and worries about my grades. In PTA meetings, my Mom will even proudly broadcast how she finds it hard to get me to sleep because am always reading books. Classmates would then complain to me that their parents have scolded them about their study habits and have demanded that they be more like me.

Laughable, isn't it?

The adult part of me, however, only feels sadness for that fact. I did want to be perceived as smart eventhough I hated that it was the only thing appreciated about me. And over time, as I grew more into my own person, I sort of went the other way. I stopped applying myself. I stopped self-realizing. I settled on just being perceived as responsible.

And now... as a wife and mother, I don't feel smart nor responsible. So it's a struggle again, learning for learning's sake, and doing for doing's sake.


  1. i can totally relate to this. :) i figured since i wasnt blessed with physical beauty, i was atleast blessed with natural inquisitiveness that people would simply perceive as being smart since i ask the right

    it's like having a tag already. stereotyped and labeled, that when you fell short from their expectations, the disappointment is almost palpable :(


  2. sis, i think you're bored. balik ka sa school :) it'll be good for you. kaya mo yan.


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