As of late, I’ve broken away from the typical student life of eating takeaway and watching Netflix. This isn’t to say I’ve been more productive with my use of time; instead, I’ve been reading romance novels set in the late Victorian-era. They’ve all lead me steadfast to one conclusion: intelligence is a plague and I’ve been cursed with an education.
I can’t remember a moment in my life where I wasn’t stubborn. My parents did try with me. I did ballet, practised my courtesies. I was the favourite of my kindergarten teacher, Ms Bodden, a sweet grey-haired English lady who taught me to read and forbade me from speaking Creole. I had my confirmation in the Church of England at twelve and I began my tuition at an all-girls grammar school. They called us ladies there, never girls.
Given this, I’m starting to wonder where it all went wrong. I was taught all the proper things, yes: elegance, obedience, good manners and conformity. Why did I ignore it then? Quite simply, I was too smart to resign myself to that sort of life and my parents maybe weren’t as firm as they could have been. When it became clear to my father that my grammar school wasn’t transforming me into the lady he had hoped, he made idle threats of sending me away to boarding school in the countryside. I wish he had but more importantly, I wish I was just a bit dumber.
I wish I could be pleased floating through the air of society as a delicate flower, full of feminine charm and grace. Life would be so much easier and straightforward. Truly, I still could make the turnaround and live that life but at this late stage, it’d be difficult. I’ve already made a reputation for myself as a strange, obstinate and rambunctious character. I’m subversive, they say, borderline unholy. That life just couldn’t fulfil me anymore, not when I’ve been corrupted by a glimpse of knowledge of the world.
This is why I think education is a plague on young women. It shows us the world in its rawest, truest sense and deludes us into thinking that it can be ours for the taking. No one tells you that the taking is damned hard. How could I resign myself to the comforts of marriage and raising offspring when there are so many problems in this world to amend? I couldn’t and I won’t. I’m damned to continue speaking my mind and scaring men away. I’m cursed to never step away from a challenge, never back down from a fight and never let anyone disrespect me. I am plagued by the reality of the work left to be done.