This I Believe

Jesse Valdemar - El Paso, Texas
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

How many people can say that they have really been them? Some people can say that they have been themselves but in reality they were lying to themselves and those around them just so that they can fit in. I now always stay true to myself and don’t let anyone change it. By being true to myself I have not changed who I am, the way I dressed or the way I act.

I remember moving from place to place with my family because my father is in the military. Every time I had to move it was just like starting over with a new life. I have encountered many different types of people and their personalities, which have shown me that by just being me is the greatest reward.

I was raised differently than most people. While I saw that others were raised by their families, they can say they were raised by their heritage, culture or roots. I on the other hand did not have the privilege to be raised by other Mexicans, but I did have the privilege to be raised by other races that it shaped me into being who I am today.

I remember when I was younger, I would have to say about 9 or 10, I remember going to a new elementary school in Germany. I dressed the way I always did and I got pushed around because of the way I am. That particular instance had made me want to change who I was and want to dress like everyone else. I changed so I could just fit in, but it really did not help because I wasn’t being myself. Unfortunately it did help but I did not learn what I learned later when I grew up. I was fixated in the fact that everyone must like me and I have to fit in so I can be liked. I was wrong!

I meet new people nearly everyday and I am not the person to sugar coat my life. I just keep it how it is, what you see is what you may get and them some. Being me everyday just makes my life easier. I don’t have to go and make things harder than they already should be. I really don’t care now, if a person doesn’t like me for me they are just going to be missing out on something great.

In high school, every time I went to a new school I never really wanted to change. The people around me seemed to fit me like a glove in my freshman to junior year in my first two high schools. I felt like I could just be myself. It was until I got to my senior year in my third high school were I realized that I just had to be myself. It helped a lot that I had my cousin there with me to be more comfortable. With me just being me I got to know who my true friends really are and people who like me for me, not for some mask that was put on.

Now that I have realized that if people can’t accept me for who I am then they don’t deserve my company. I am the type of person that can just walk up to a scene and just be me and not have a care in the world what other people are thinking. My friends call me a “Rebel” or a “Renegade” because I always do what I want and stay who I am. With me being true to myself I have created a sense of confidence with myself and my personality seems to draw people to me. For me to just be myself in daily life is important because how can anyone really get to know me if I don’t know me.