Never Enough

I stared deeply into my medal frame. There was a blank space, enough for one more medal. “Never enough,” I whispered to myself, “I will never be enough.” I looked at it once more. The memories kicked in, they started flashing upon me. I started crying. Crying, because I knew that I would never live up to my brother's potential. Crying, because of how worthless I felt. Crying, because I knew that I would never be enough. Ever since I was a little girl, the idea of perfection always striked me. I always wanted to be the best. I viewed everything as competition. One of them, unfortunately, turned out to be Jaden, my brother. People compared the both of us. At first, I did not really mind, but how often it was brought up, made me pity myself. The way they said that he was the smartest, and that he will always be better, made me see that no matter what I do, I will never compare to his success. It did not help knowing that he got into one of the best schools in the country without preparation. I was proud of him. But little did I know, my parents expected the same thing from me as well. I loved him, even if he was a living reminder of the things I cannot achieve. It was summertime of 2017, my mother brought me to a tutoring center. I sat down in the available seats nearby. I started analyzing my surroundings. One thing that I vividly remembered was the poster that gave me hope, “99% passing rate” was written in bold. I was escorted to a small room. A teacher attended to me, and started explaining the subjects I will be studying. Afterwards, we proceeded with the lessons. This continued on for two months. On the very last day, I took the final practice exam. I was waiting for the outcome for a few minutes. My teacher came back with a smile on his face. He gave me my test paper, and I started smiling with him. For the first time in my whole life, I felt proud of myself. While I was walking away from the building, I looked back and grinned. They gave me hope, and for a second, I remembered the poster, believing that it was true. Months passed and it was the day of my entrance exam. I reviewed for weeks, but I felt so nervous. My heart started racing. I kept on overthinking. I started asking myself, “What happens if I end up forgetting?” I tried to calm myself down. My mother called me, and asked me if I had everything I needed. I brushed through my bag, and nodded. I was brought to a tight room with people I did not recognize. The windows were open, and a pungent smell filled inside. I sat down in the available seat left. The proctor came inside and started explaining the instructions. I started scanning every page in the test, and started answering. At first, I felt like I could finish everything on time. But the clock kept on ticking, whilst my mind started aching. I looked back at my watch after every minute, and started to panic once again. I had a mind block. Everything I studied disappeared. The room felt like it was closing in on me. My heart knew I studied this, but my brain did not. Time passed; the clock started ringing. There was 1-minute left. My answer sheet looked so blank. The proctor counted down. I disappointed myself. I left the room with a frown on my face. My mother greeted me, and gave me a hug. “How was it?” she asked. I replied saying that it was fine. On our way home, I stared outside the car window with so many thoughts in mind. I went into my house, upset by the mess that I made. I blew that test; I blew my chances. I slept, thinking that everything will go away once I wake up. A few months later, the results were posted. My mother looked at it and looked back at me with pity in her eyes. She smiled, while giving me a peck on the cheek. There were so many names on the list, but none of them were mine. I started a tantrum. I wanted to throw every single thing I saw, like how I threw away the chance that was given to me. My mother hugged me, trying to fight my anger. I wanted to push against her, but my heart was too heavy. All my energy was drained. I was fine with disappointing myself, but disappointing my own family was not something I could take. I hated myself. I hated how I wasted an opportunity. I hated how I expected so much. I hated how I thought that I had a chance. “Just do better next time,” my mother said. “But what if there isn't a next time?” I whispered to myself. I wanted to put the blame on the room I stayed in, or even God, but I knew that I would be lying if I said it was not my fault. I wanted to move on, but my heart was too broken. I felt more and more insecure, each day that comes. I had a proper tutoring center, and books to study for this exam, yet I still did not pass. Jaden barely studied, yet he got in. I was given everything I needed, but I gave nothing in return. I stared deeply into my medal frame once more. There was a blank space, enough for one more medal. “Never enough,” I whispered to myself, “I will never be enough.”

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