I was raised a winner. When we were little, I would get first pick. Always. If we were to play Power Rangers, I would be the red one. If we were to play with toy guns and swords, I would always get the biggest. There was no “we” during playtime, it was “I” and “them”. My friends don’t seem to be bothered, I guess they hide it so well.
In primary school, being second in class was not an option. But finishing first was the norm, verbal recognition wasn’t that necessary. I remembered getting top in class in Year 5, my dad plainly asked “first again, eh?”. I did however get a bicycle for that achievement, so rewards were aplenty. A year before during Year 3, I got a personal computer.
My demise started in Year 6. I was second. Second in rank (deputy head prefect), second in class. I did get something out of it, too. A pep talk. “It’s alright, we can try next time..”, were not the words. Instead, I was told that my downfall was imminent, that it was due to my change in behaviour, lack of focus as compared to before. I was frowned upon.
Much, if not all of my success during my primary years I credit to my parents, who persistently told me to hit the books. If it weren’t for them, I don’t think I can get number one solely on my own willingness. Sure, I wanted the coveted #1 status, but did I deserve it? To this day, sometimes I still wonder. I guess being first is the least I can do for their efforts.
What about the most I can do? That, sometimes I still wonder too.