I believe in identity. All my life I have been different than my peers, in both manner and later, appearance. I always have been something of an oddity, standing out in crowds, first as a kid, and still now when I’m older.
In kindergarten, I cried on the first day of school because I didn’t want my mom to leave me there alone. I refused to leave the corner of the room during play time for almost a week. (To this day I still have the title of “momma’s boy”. Though now it’s more of an honorific than an insult to me.)
When I hit sixth grade, I already had a reputation of being a strange and crazy nerd. Truthfully, the claim wasn’t far off the mark, and I didn’t care; I still had my friends, who liked me even if they thought I was a nerd. Also in sixth grade, I started growing far more than my peers. I hit 5’10” by the end of the year, a full three or four inches over the next tallest student in my grade. Needless to say, it made me stand out a bit. The following summer, I started entering puberty at the ripe age of twelve, my voice hitting its lowest low a year later. At the same time, I sprouted another three inches. By the time I was close to finishing seventh grade, I was towering over my mother and looking eye to eye with my father.
All this background is to make a point of the fact that I’ve stood out ever since I was a kid, and not always in the best ways. But now I appreciate the fact that I am different than most: I am proud of the person I have become, and I like swimming upriver against the current of popular culture. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for love songs and that I hate rap. I have no problem saying that I like older actors like Christopher Lee more than young ones like Orlando Bloom, and I’ll watch Lord of the Rings over movies like Napoleon Dynamite any day. Even in sports, my interests are a lot different than most people my age. I like skiing more than football, swimming over basketball and soccer over baseball. I write stories in my spare time, my best friends are from drama productions I’ve been in, and I’d rather sit down with a book than go out and party.
I like being me, and anyone who thinks I am strange, you are welcome to: what you think shouldn’t and doesn’t affect me at all. My life and choices have made me who I am, and I would be doing myself a disservice by acting differently. That is why I believe in identity.
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