I read a lot of stories of people recovering from self esteem issues and they all end with stuff like, “now I’m comfortable being me” or something similar. I have one of those stories but it doesn’t end like that.
In primary school there was this guy in my class, let’s call him Benson. I wanted to be Benson so bad it was almost physically painful. My Dad was a big fan of Benson and whenever I’d slip up he’d gently ask, “Does Benson have two heads?”
My Dad was never big on topping the class so it never bothered me, but when Benson started topping the class I wanted to (although sharing 5th position with 5 other people was as far as I got). Benson used to tilt his head to the side in class and I was so sure that position made whatever nonsense the teacher was saying enter faster. Maybe it did because I have no recollection of ever reading my books for a school term exam.
When we went to secondary school, Benson got admitted into the school that I was too scared to write the exam because I was so sure failure had my name written on its face. From there I pretty much lost contact with him. (This was before I discovered computers could do more than play solitaire).
We did meet once at summer school, and he had all these fascinating stories about his school. I didn’t feel bad because my secondary school was in Ogun state and I got to travel by air a lot.
Well, when Facebook came and university happened, I searched for Benson only to discover he went abroad, while I’m currently going to a school that occasionally swings between a secondary school and university. It’s painful to look at pictures of him winning lots of awards while the only thing I have to my name is a medal for the best impersonation of Warren Buffet (and of course a wonderful blog that gives me sleepless nights when it doesn’t get traffic). Or when I look at his beautiful girlfriend and wonder which of the elder gods I provoked that has kept me single since the first time Jesus was here.
I know it’s bad to compare yourself with someone else and all that stuff but sometimes it’s just so difficult. Sometimes I’m like “what did I do to in born to a country that hates electricity and loves corruption? Who did I offend?”
Some days I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for the world, I literally have the best set of friends in the history of friendships, not to mention an amazing family. But there are certain days I wonder if I could start again as someone else.
*goes back to Facebook to check for Benson*