I live in a small town. A small town where nothing ever changes. Everything has come to a full stop and everyone expects it to stay that way. But you see, I have dreams. I have dreams of actually going somewhere with my life, actually doing something. Getting out. And yet, nobody believes that I could possibly achieve that.
I have heard my mother tell me, countless times since telling her that I'm about to switch schools, how much easier it would be to stay in my old school. How much harder it's going to get and how my grades will drop. How I'm not going to make it. And if I tell her to stop telling me off, to stop bringing down my self-esteem, it's already fucking low enough, she just denies it. I can still hear it though, ringing in my ears. She said it. And she will say it again. Why? Because change in this town is something bad.
My home town is mostly filled with old people. Everyone who is young and wants to go to the university, must move out to Tartu or Tallinn. And then they are encouraged to come back. To work as someone invisible, someone with no future because that's how it has been for decades in here.
We are forced to think that this town is our future, that we have to come back because of some elusive pride everyone else seems to have. And adapt into the same lifestyles as everyone else. Living in a bubble, unable to understand that the world is changing. Unable to accept that people are different and it's something to be cherished, not hated. Living up to their necks in hatred, racism, phobias and fear.
It is for some reason the general consensus, that we are just not good enough. That we are lower. Maybe it's an isolation thing, maybe some remnant of the soviet-era belief system or perhaps a memory of our ancestors in slavery, brewing away at the back of our heads, making us unable to believe in ourselves. It is for some reason believed that when it comes to the rest of the world, they are better and we could never achieve their greatness and you know what? Trying would be just pointless so we may as well give up.
And it's time we, as the new generation, stop thinking like that. We can do it.
We can fucking do it!
We are not lower, we do not give up. We are brilliant and we can achieve anything we want, because we have the means and we have the brains.
And yes, it's going to be hard, it's going to be dissappointing and it's going to be painful. But that's just life. Nothing is ever easy and the flower may look ugly as ever, but it will smell sweeter than anything you have smelled before. All we have to do is keep going. Push ourselves through the barriers, and dream big. We are all equal, we can all do whatever we set our minds to if we just try hard enough. And would you stop listening to them haters? Geesh, girl, they know nuffin. Nuffin at all.
The world is ours and we can do whatever the hell we want with it. You just watch us.
Without a dream you'll not get anywhere.
~Kofi Annan, in Kofi Annan: Center of the Storm (2003)