cloud_riven: Ghost Trick's Kamila sitting on a couch next to a pile of wrapped Christmas presents. (readan listenan can't hear you)
the saltiest ([personal profile] cloud_riven) wrote2011-01-30 03:19 am

I'm actually too passive for one of these, but imagining it is nice

I had a rival when I was in elementary school. For the latter four years, he and I were math and science rivals striving to get the better grade over the other. We were the "smart kids," this distinction is hardly special if you are friendly about it. When you are in elementary, in a class of barely thirty students, of course there is no challenge to be deemed a smart kid. You even have an advantage if you wear glasses. I remember quite clearly when I announced to half our class that the other smart kid was my rival and that I would beat him on our next division test. It's true that I only said it to make everyone laugh—self-fashioned wit and apparent encouragement from my peers did much for my ego—but I was serious and determined about declaring a rival. Not only was I so proud of knowing what the term "rival" meant, I was excited to add it to my lexicon of "words that make me sound smart and badass." I probably picked up the word from a Redwall book or a videogame.

If I recall correctly, he did acknowledge and accept our rivalry, but I am very sure that he was capable of being patronising at the age of seven. I would not understand that word until I was twelve, and used to adults doing this all of the time. It was fun though, and at the very least gave me some study habits so I would keep up with him. Too bad I stopped having an affinity for the sciences, math, and anything very analytical.

Now that I'm all nostalgic, I would love to have a rival right now, although I really don't know what we would be rivals in. I'm older, in college, and among what seems to be a mass of intellectuals and talented artists. It's hard to feel remarkable about what little I have accomplished when the biggest thing is simply being here. Even that guy who humored me as a kid is aiming for a job with the RCMP, whereas my goal is permanently set to "just make some money, maybe graduate, and don't forget to chillax." I don't think I could even attract competition for it. Sure, yet another friend to cheer me on and uplift whatever spirits are low is always appreciated. But having someone who I want to be better than, and gloat about it is far more appealing. Which is also pretty terrible and mean when I think about it. That's not very nice, and it's kind of very self-aggrandizing. But it would be so much more interesting than chillaxing.

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