I am your typical firstborn: arrogant, bossy and a know-it-all.
As the only child, I felt that the world revolved around me. That didn’t last long. When my sibling was born, I felt he was a pest and only existed for me to learn how to “share” things which were supposed to be only mine in the first place.
We used to fight over the pettiest things. Such as who sits in front (of the car), who gets to play with the toy first and whose instructions had to be followed all the time.
As the oldest, I learned how to boss him and everyone else around me around. I learned at a young age that the more authoritative and confident you sounded, the more you can get your way. Why argue with me when it’s just easier to give way?
I was pretty independent as a kid. My parents were mostly out doing business so I was left on my own with the cook and our maid. Hence, I had to take the school bus on my own and study on my own. I was one of those kids who sat in front, took great notes, and studied on her own without prodding.
That made me one of the more unpopular kids in school.
And while I wasn’t really a teacher’s pet — I had to work for every grade I got and never received any favors — kids just don’t like the kid with thick glasses who seemed eager to please and studied.
I think the more chill you are and the less you studied, the more popular you got. That and excelling in sports. That gave you a lot of brownie points.
Consequently, you learn not to care too much of what other people think.
It goes both ways, people not liking you either breaks you down and you fall into depression.
Or, it just makes you shrug your shoulders and just focus on studying. Why care too much about what other people thought? There’s no pleasing them anyways.
Damn if you do… And damn if you don’t.
So, I became comfortable dancing in my own internal beat. I didn’t have a lot of friends. Remember, I wasn’t a popular kid. But I did maintain a best friend or two who occupied much of my time.
And I was fine with that.
I buried my head with books, my best friend and doing my best in school.
Consequently, when you care less about what other people think, you talk mostly taking what you think into consideration.
Yes yes yes, I hear what you’re saying but… Was a familiar thought process for me.
Other people’s opinions mattered but my opinions matters too.
And that was unfortunately a recipe for arrogance. Or at least perceived arrogance.
It wasn’t my intention to sound arrogant, but it’s hard not to when you think you have a point.
So aside from being a bossy, I sounded a lot more arrogant. A know-it-all. I spoke as if I didn’t care too much about what other people thought.
A double whammy.
But at the end of the day, I am aware of who I am.
I will never win a popularity contest.
I’m too much of a try-hard, wannabe overachiever who sits in front of the class and tries to listen hard to what the teacher is saying.
I am used to classmates being annoyed because I take school, work and life too seriously. Loosen up! They would say…
I am Hermione Granger, Anne Hathaway and Reese Winterspoon rolled into one.
Except I don’t have best friends as great as Harry Potter, I’m not rich and famous, and I’m not an Oscar winning actress.
I am just a normal girl, trying her best to make sense of the world, who attempts to make an impact in the lives of my staff, my daughter and my family.
So if I am not as well liked, well, welcome to my world.
Again, I have never been the popular kid. I don’t think I will ever turn out to be a popular adult.
But at the same time, I never really aspired to be generally liked anyway. I have always been a niche market, loved by a few, respected by those who have actually interacted with me, and tossed aside by many.
And that’s just fine by me.
And as my daughter, my firstborn, grows up, I think it’s important to teach her that while it’s important to be well liked and to please people, it’s more important to be herself and to accept who she is, annoying quirks and all.
Only then can you experience full freedom. Because in truth, you can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.
Love you guys! Happy weekend!