Mistakes and Failure – The pressure to be perfect

It was the end of junior holidays and becoming a senior student was a long awaited dream. Finally i get to choose the subjects i want. It was a good feeling because now your books and workload would be made up of your favorite subjects. A week before resumption dad called me to the living room.

“How is your preparation for back to school?
“Going smoothly dad. I’ve got everything listed so i don’t forget anything”, i said smiling “and I’m going to get more items tomorrow dad”. I continued. He nodded approvingly.
“Have you decided what to major in?” He asked.
“Yes i have” i replied smiling sheepishly.
“And i hope that decision is for science”.
“What?” I turned and faced him properly. My smile vanished and a frown appeared on my face.
“I want you to choose science and become a science student. Hope you’re getting me?”.
“No dad. How can i be a science student?”. I thought of how terrible i was at mathematics, physics and chemistry; i knew nothing about chemical formulas, the mere thought of science terrified me. “Dad i can’t choose science, i don’t like science subjects, they’re boring…” I ranted on near tears hoping he would understand.
“The same way you managed to pass them, you would continue to do so. You’re my first child and you have to listen to what i say to you. Science is the best choice for you and i also want the best for you my daughter”.
“Please dad….please”. I pleaded.
“No i don’t want to hear your excuses. You should know that you can be a doctor, pharmacist, an engineer and a lawyer. So you’re doing sciences. And that’s final”. He looked sternly at me and stormed out of the room.
With those words he ended the girls dream of being an art student but what he didn’t know was that, she was as stubborn as he was and he couldn’t end the girls will.

Thinking back at that conversation, it was so hilarious. I mean who does science to study law in the university? Its absurd. And my dad was hell bent on me being a science student so that i could study a science related course in the university or study law (A typical African father mentality) – *laughs*

Its not embarrassing for me to say i always failed woefully in mathematics. The highest score i ever had was forty seven over hundred, which was still an ‘F’. So how was i supposed to do great as a science student. The worst of them all was further mathematics, i always sweat when i think about it. I remember every time the paper was before me in exams i would always battle with perspiration till the point where i would give up trying because the end result would still be a seven over hundred (what a waste of time and energy – *laughs) No matter how had i tried i couldn’t just understand it.

I remember after that conversation with dad, i was turn between both sides. I found myself at a crossroad; to follow my dream or to follow my fathers dream for me. As a child i was scared of going against him. I wanted to please him and hear him sing my praises on his lips. I was on edge throughout the first week of resumption. I kept rubbing my hands together, and i hated that kind of feeling. I just wanted to have peace. Each time i looked at my government teacher or my literature books i almost cried because i couldn’t bear missing all that. So i ended up choosing what made me happy. I became an Arts student, i knew i could still be a lawyer and since that was partly what Dad also wanted for me, it felt right. So i made a mental note to deal with his anger for disobeying me when i get back home during the holidays.

During the holidays he got over his anger. They all saw that nothing could melt my resolve and stubbornness so they all accepted it. After all, i still wanted to be a lawyer just like he wanted me to be so it wasn’t all bad. His misconception changed after he paid great attention to the fact that i was more glad studying arts. In the long run admissions for law was closed so i ended up studying Economics in the university, which i eventually fell in love with. Dad was happy, very supportive and more proud because i didn’t give in to the pressure but i choose what i wanted for my self.

Why am i sharing all this?

To correct the mistake of expecting too much from the people we love.
“When we expect too much we get disappointed”

We put too much pressure on the people we love to be perfect; be it our children, our spouses, our boyfriends and girlfriends, our close friends and our pastors. When the simple truth is no one can be perfect.

We expect supernatural behavior and when we get human behavior we tackle them, blame them for their short comings and throw abuses at them. And because of those hurls thrown at them; firstly, they sink into low self esteem and begin to see themselves as weak, useless, good for nothing people. When this thoughts cloud their mind it quickly turns into insecurities, they see themselves as their own enemies, they lose trust in their capabilities and in their passion and dreams. It becomes like a venom that poisons their mind, soul and spirit. Secondly, they fear you. They fear you so much that they would do anything humanly possible not to arouse your anger, and to avoid you throwing words that remind them of their mistakes and failures.

When there is this pressure to be perfect it leads to more imperfections because they do everything for you and loose themselves in the process.

I met a girl at the wedding of a friend for the first time. She was a quiet and calm girl and after the wedding we all went our separate ways only to hear last week that she committed suicide in her room in school.

Why? (A question i regret hearing the answer)
Because she failed her exams, she couldn’t handle it so she committed suicide my hanging.

I kept asking myself what would have pushed her to harbor such thought and the will to go ahead with it? It was terrible. What pressure the world had put on her as an only child to pass with perfect grades?

I still don’t know the answer to that question but i wish things had been different for her.

Its important to know that its okay to fail. Mistakes would always be part of our lives because we are human. We are not some god or some superheros. Its okay to be weak. Its okay to make silly mistakes. Its okay to be different. Its okay to be disappointed. Its okay to not have all you want presently. Its okay if we are scared once in a while. Its okay if our kids and partners choose their own path.

Its best if they choose their path not the path we want for them. Only then can they live without regrets. And deal with whatever comes their way.

It is our imperfections that complete us. It is those imperfections that make us call on God and lean on him.

Choose to live your dream and not the dream of someone else
Choose to spread love, courage and positivity
Choose the pursuit of your passion
Choose what gives you peace
Choose to stay calm under pressure
Choose You; Even when everyone frowns at it.

Thank you for reading to the end.
What are your thoughts on this? How best do you deal with failure? Share your response by commenting on the comments section. Hit the like button if you had a good read.

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