Confessions Of A Forgotten Genius

April 23, 2009

forgotten glasses

Potential is something that needs be realised in time in order for the world to thrive through the accomplishments of its inhabitants. Is the promise of certain improvement denied, ambition will falter and forgotten geniuses are all that remain.

Time is a relentless beast leaving nothing without scars as it passes by, casting its shadows upon what is below. As it circled me — before leaving me to be one more time, however promising to return — it shaved off a cloak of denial which I had draped myself in previously, and made me realise that what I currently study are studies studied a decade too late. To learn the characteristics of all the modern-day phyla in the animal kingdom now interests me little, despite the fact that I find zoology one of the most fascinating sciences.

Ten years ago, when I was ten, I would have treasured the opportunity as I then studied it all on my own, dreaming of the day when I had come of the age when university studies were to be allowed for me to indulge in. Had I been allowed to move at my own pace in my younger years, I would have made everyone proud – because my passion would have rendered me unable to disappoint. When I now study the course a decade too late, I have moved yet further forward, being unable to remain still and await the time of mine which never comes.

What would have meant everything to me oh so many years ago I now find rather mundane, my ambition having been allowed to go to waste because it was before its time. What does it matter is a ten-year old is allowed to go to university as long as they enjoy – and is good at – what they do? Talents differ and everyone should be allowed to realise their own potential when the time is right. Such people as my younger self should be supported and valued instead of being neglected and forgotten. Instead of creating geniuses one then ends up with people such as myself — geniuses forgotten.

Two days ago I attended a lecture on the topic of human evolution. I have been fascinated by humans and their nature for about five years now, and that is well enough time for someone to learn most of what there is to know, rendering lectures such as the one two days ago rather pointless. Though it was designed to invoke a sense of awe in its listeners it failed to affect me to any mentionable extent. It is not because I found the subject topic boring, but simply because I am past that stage; I am a listener no more, I am a doer; I wish to be the person holding the lecture for I feel that there are so many more things which also could have been said!

My childhood self — the person I now would need to be — wanted to work in, or own, a very special museum because that was where I believed scientists and ponderers perched, wandering through never-ending hallways where every zoological wonder in the world was stuffed and placed in cabinets to which only the most accomplished had access. I was truly mesmerised by the thought and its implications for my future life. I believed it to be paradise and my greatest desire was at that time to gain access to the winding hallways I sincerely believed ran throughout the entire museum; passageways I then was not allowed to enter. But one day when I had grown older and more accomplished I would. And I could not wait.

I have not visited that museum for over a year now, despite me passing it by every day. It is located just outside the university campus and I have to pass by outside its archives in order to reach my home. The last time I went there I became gravely disappointed, for despite I then knew that the paradise did not exist there in the form my imagination had suggested, I on that day realised that it was true; that I never would find happiness there. My reason for being there over a year ago was because I wanted to see their latest exhibit “The Human Journey” that had been praised in every review as the exhibition to visit was one interested in human evolution.

But when I ventured there I became disappointed – not in the exhibit – but in myself for having once more succumbed to the allure of the dream of a paradise for people such as me: the exhibit was not aimed at people such as myself; its target group were the others, the ones who did not mind if some things were wrong. Pressing my nose against the glass, as if I wished it to be a force field camouflaging a portal that would remove me from the confined space where I stood, I sighed and asked myself why the models of the pre-humans looked the way they did with fair skin — although with dark hair — despite living on the African savannah where such lack of pigmentation would have meant certain death.

But no-one was there to listen, for I yet have to accomplish enough to gain access to the winding hallways of zoological wonders that I know are out there in the world somewhere. All that was there was a fair-haired model of a pre-human that stared without blinking at me where I stood. I turned around and left, and I yet have to set foot in my childhood self’s paradise again.

What saddens me most — however — is that I know I am not the only forgotten genius in this world. Until it has been realised that not everyone is one and the same, the amount of people stunted in their intellectual development will be innumerable; and it is all at the world’s loss.

Tell me, do you ever feel like a forgotten genius at times?

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