So if you remember, I decided to become a doctor and this life-changing decision involved many challenges. Some of them more difficult to address, such as meeting up with an old crush, who could offer me a great apprenticeship. But I know you all wondered why I just didn’t ask any member of my family for an internship since they are all doctors.
Let me answer with three words:
“The family idiot”
Each family has an “idiot” (if you didn’t know, you may fulfill that role… just saying)
I was the family idiot, a role I played since I was born. Elisabeth and David started walking at 11 and 10 months old respectively, I took my first step at 13 months old (which was within normal range) but this fact set my life as an idiot for good. Every achievement was compared to those of my siblings, who obviously performed better than me.
Look at their CV:
I know what you’re thinking, the London School of Economics enjoyed a worldwide reputation, especially after Khaddafi’s son became an alumni. Well, being a family idiot summed it all. I was not up against the average citizen, I was fighting against my siblings for a seat in the court of intellectual brightness. My parents were both bright and they expected more from us. A lot of pressure that since my first step I did not handle very well.
What was the life as a family idiot?
Lack of credibility. Whatever I said, defended, argued, proved, my siblings were asked to confirm my point. So annoying! Why asking me the question in the first place then?
Because of their higher pedigree and better-ranked universities, people considered them as experts in all the subjects.
Genes didn’t work in my favour. As the family idiot, I suffered from a random pick of unlucky genes or unlucky genetic mutations, turning me into a victim. After all, I shared the same parents and the same education as my siblings, but for me, it created “dumbness”.
The use of this gene-story brought me some sympathy from members of my family.
I was officially a victim of genetics!
Number one topic in family gossips. As I tried to differentiate myself from the rest of the royal family, I started acting as the “buffoon”. According to my family’s standards, I was doing crazy shit!!
My mother on the phone with her sister: “Olivia decided to paint her room in orange. This is ridiculous. Olivia gained five kilos and now she can’t fit into the dress grandma made for her. I surprised Olivia and the little neighbour kissing, Instead of focusing on school. God knows what’s in her head now?”
For the record, this neighbour was my secret boyfriend and I was 15.
Everything I did became a source of family gossip. At least, they had something to talk about, my endeavour entertained them.
A need to Excel in a different field. To set myself apart, I relentlessly put my best effort to choose fields that my siblings did not care about or looked down on. Elisabeth graciously flew during her classic dance classes, I was flown across the room during karate. David displayed an effortless talent playing piano, I hammered a drum. They hated me for it.
I would not be surprised if many people who turned to art or comedy, did so because of their background as family idiots. I used to say “You can’t appreciate art, because you don’t understand it”. My family did not appreciate art as an intellectual discipline, but they did admit their total ignorance. It felt damn good to have a hand over them! Therefore, I chose art, and not medicine.
This reputation was the main reason why I didn’t want to be a doctor in the first place. The odds and the genes defeated my willingness. The family idiot wishing for a career in medicine…
“Are you cut for it?” Elisabeth interjected when I evoked the possibility at 12 years old.
“The competition is intense to get into med schools, you need much better grades.” David decreed when I evoked it again a year later.
I was thrown off the project.
But now that I picked up that project again, I wanted a clean slate regarding this family idiot role and I would not get it if I was working with them.
My family cast me for a role that did not suit me anymore, but they kept me in this role. So rather than fighting their perceptions, I chose avoidance.
To answer the question bluntly, I did not wish to get an apprenticeship with my family, because, I, Olivia, aka the family idiot, declined the role.