This I Believe

Britney - Richmond, Kentucky
Entered on August 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, love

I believe in being loved.

Already in my sixteen years, eight months, and twelve days of life I have been loved in numerous ways by numerous people. Some have loved me more intensely than others, some have loved me for longer than others; some loved me because they needed me, some loved me because we shared interests. I have been loved by harsh people, sensitive people, weary people, athletic people. I have been loved by parents for being a daughter, by friends for being a friend, by a lover for being myself.

But what I think to myself, always, is how I feel about a person; how I admire that girl for her strength, how I love a person in their weakness, how – I – love. I exude it. I do what I can within the bounds of reason – for especially within me there must be boundaries labeled Reason upon the map of my heart – to let the person know, I love you. I appreciate you. I think of you.

I trust you.

Now, in my sixteenth year, eighth month, and twelfth day of life I realize: I have also been loved. I also have been admired for my strength, my vocabulary, my body, loved for my mind, for my soul. Strangers have wanted sorely to tell me something they like about me the same way I itch to say it to them – I like your earrings, your glasses, your sweatshirt. They like mine, too.

Already in my sixteen years, eight months, and twelve days of life I have been disliked, hated, ostracized. I have been persecuted for my sequence of colours, for my religious beliefs, the shape of my body. For my prized command of the English language. I have been taunted more than I have been praised; bullied more than I have been upheld; jeered at more than I have been supported.

But this is more common in frequency only. I couldn’t tell you today who bullied me in second grade, but I still remember the name of my best friend’s mother. Who knows who those kids were that decided my sexual orientation for me in middle school? I certainly don’t. I haven’t the time to remember their names or faces. I have people to love, and love to accept.

I believe in the family I have chosen, and the family that has chosen me. I believe in loving them and accepting the love they slide my way; I believe in being loved.