Being home schooled was ultimately the choice of my parents. I have no qualifications. I was removed from school at primary level, reinserted at secondary, with no friends, only to be removed a year later, due to the horrific bullying I became victim to.My mother took up the role of teacher. I suffer with mild dyslexia, a learning difficulty that has always been a thorn in my side, not helped by my so called home education !
I was given little or no structure. Often going on gardening jobs with my mother to help instead of learning, or just given text books and left to it. She was no teacher in an academic sense. I was provided with a below standard education and had little or no social skills. I was never asked, if I would like to do my GCSE’s, I was just told we can’t afford them. The result, I have no document to say I am adequate human being in any area. This haunts me.
Now behind me is a string of menial jobs, my life is a network of dead ends. Continually applying to hundreds of jobs and countless interviews over the years, trying to better my situation, always putting my best foot forward, only to receive the same emails and I quote (I have several of these emails in my inbox as I type this) –
Thank you for your application for the above position and your interest in this role.
We have considered your application for this particular role and regret to inform you that you have not been selected for interview on this occasion.”
I have always loved writing and literature. I remember as a child writing my own books and creating cover art, by folding pieces of A4 paper in half to resemble a book. One of the books I most treasure is Candide by Voltaire (below is a picture of my well-read copy).
The book itself is short and to the point, but incredibly powerful. I often imagine being happy someday, getting the job and the life I wish for. Like the character Candide I will find my Cunégonde someday, I will be scarred by this world, but I will get make it and get to her eventually.
As you read this I ask you, is optimism naïve? I ponder this question often. Do you wear like a badge on your chest all the bad things that have happened to you, telling anyone that will listen the pain you have suffered, or do you just move on? I don’t want to let go of my anger towards the injustices I have observed over the years, but there is so much of it, it’s exhausting! There must be some self-preservation. If you don’t care for yourself, no one else will. Your screams for help will go unheard and ultimately ignored.
Yes, we can point out all the wrong and ill in the world and carry it with us, like a heavy load upon our feeble shoulders, but as Voltaire says in the last line of Candide –
‘That it excellently observed’, said Candide. ‘But let us dig in our garden’