I’m an almost kid. If I were born a few hours later, my family would’ve been presented with a New Year’s gift (or whatever the hospital gives the family of the baby born first on New Years Day). A few times in my childhood, I’ve picked up a hobby, only to drop it just before I accomplish anything substantial with it. I did have my own reasons for quitting each activity, but nonetheless, the result is what shows.
I’m now in university. My grades are fine, not perfect; I’m happy with my engagement in the school, although my name certainly isn’t a household one; and I’m content but still have some small gripes about my experience.
Recently on Facebook (because where else would people selectively highlight their triumphs) an acquaintance talked about a scholarship they had gotten. I thought back to my euphorious moment only two weeks prior, when I was “pending” scholarship. As you might’ve guessed, I didn’t get the scholarship and I almost wish I had never known about its pending status.
I’m griping about not getting the scholarship not because of money, but because of prestige. Sure, I would’ve used the money towards tuition, but it’s not that I don’t currently have a reserve. Money might be important to me if I constantly spend, but the majority of my money goes towards food, rather than clothes or wants.
But this is only some of the data that fits with the trope. I’ve had accomplishments that make me more than “the almost kid”. I have a wonderful family that supports me, high school friends I still keep in contact with, and am lucky enough to have jobs every summer.
So keep in mind confirmation bias the next time someone tells you their story. And make them realize that they’ve had some ups along with their downs,