I thought it would never be over.
I just assumed that this was the way that life would always be. There would be those around me who would work to ostracize me, to ignore and willfully understand me and my work; my potential. That certainly was my life here at school. There were only the slightest exceptions to this and even those I had to keep quiet about. I did not even believe in myself. Not to the degree that I should have. Not to the degree that I now know would have been justified.
What broke the spell, or started the collapse of it were the standardized tests. In these there was anonymity and therefore no prejudice, no expectation, no resentment, no jealousy. I had never known any such dynamic before and when I took the tests I just assumed that it would be more of the same; putting me somewhere in the low middle – one to be forgotten about. I took the tests with no expectations, no sense of any personal remarkable ability or talent and no anticipation that the blind scoring of the tests and the fact that the questions had been written by people with greater understanding than I had known in any of my teachers would result in discovery.
But it did.
As I began the tests I gained confidence and interest. It was like I had started on a trail I believed was completely unknown and then found that every bit of ground was solid and somehow familiar to me. With each new series of questions I was intrigued as if I had heard some sweet music calling me on to the next section and the next page. The crooked road I had been traveling was behind me now and with each question and answer I found myself whispering Yeah. Of course. This is it.
And when my results came back they could not be hidden. It was as if a weight that I had grown so accustomed to that I no longer realized how it bent me had been lifted away and I was lighter than air. When I walked home from school I did not dread the bullying or the exclusion that had been my daily ration for so long. I was now completely confident of something that I had only vaguely imagined before: there was another world out there. And it was a rational world; a world that made sense and that valued those talents that I possessed. And I was going there. There was no stopping me now.