This I Believe

Amanda - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I Believe in Being an Individual

As long as I have known what looking up to someone means, I have looked up to my cousins Patricia and Christine. They were the coolest people I had ever known. We would spend every weekend, school break, and summer together. I remember following them everywhere they went, soaking up every word they said. I wanted to be just like them so I dressed like them and did everything they did.

I also remember when everything changed; they started to call me names and make fun of me and leave me out. They would say I’m not old enough to wear, say, or do certain things or they would tell secrets in front in of me and rub things in my face. They would buy gifts for all my cousins, but not for me. Every time I would stay at their house they would call me names and say mean remarks to me, to the point where I would cry. I would get up and go to the bathroom to let my tears fall freely. I remember them saying stuff about me from outside the door, and once I was done crying they wouldn’t talk to me the whole time I stayed there. They sent me angry emails telling me I was immature and I needed to stop copying them. They would send me things saying that I was such a loser. I got sick of the ridiculous treatment and stood up for myself and told them how I felt. That caused them to hate me, and in return I hated them.

I eventually stopped talking to them all together; instead of hours of talking on the phone and emailing them I decided I needed a break to think things over and really examine what had happened between us. I soon realized my “sisters” were not the role models I thought they were. They treated me the way they promised my mom that they wouldn’t. Patricia went through the same experience with my other older cousins and she promised that she would never treat me that way. That’s when I realized that they were very hypocritical and judgmental. My brother, however, still kept in touch with them, which tore my brother and me apart. My brother and I resolved the argument after a lot of tears and hurtful words said.

I believe in being an individual and not someone else because by becoming my own individual I have never been happier. I am able to live my life without fear of what my cousins will think or say and this allows us to get along. I can walk with my head high knowing I am “me” and not a shadow of my cousins. Because of my experience I want to show people how important it is have your own personality and be yourself every moment of your life.