This I Believe

Molly Shaheen - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in oddities.

“You’re weird…” spat a “friend” of mine across the lunch table at me as I told a story of my previous spring break re-reading the Harry Potter series…twice. I consider myself an oddity, a Harry Potter loving, homework doing, over interested in the historical evolvement of fashion, oddity. I am the kid in class who laughs just a little too hard at a not-so-funny joke, then, two classes later, can be found, sitting alone, still giggling about it.

When I started middle school I tried to zone out the ‘weird’, slightly annoying, side of my persona. After all, 6th grade was to be a time of great social achievements; I would make sure that everyone would love me at my new school. But I wasn’t happy, I didn’t have many friends let alone any that I identified with, and I missed the days when Harry, Ron and Hermione would be there to greet me at the end of each hard day. But they are gone, I told myself, they aren’t cool.

7th grade started, and with the new school year, came new friends, friends that made me confident, proud, and a bit more, me. I retrieved, from the floor of my cluttered closet, my old books that told stories of school age wizards. I dusted off their covers, and, with a smile upon my face, I gently placed them where they had always belonged, on their abandoned old shelf in my bookcase.

My complete summer before the release of the final Harry Potter book revolved around preparing for the tell-all night. July 31 dawned and I was scared. What will happen if the end of Harry will mean losing my crutch, my moral support? My mind then wandered, how will I make new friends in high school without my old ones there to keep me from falling into the same trap I did in middle school? But mostly, what will I do without my fictional mentor by my side?

I don’t know, I answered myself, I don’t think I will ever know much for sure other than the fact that I believe in oddities, I believe in self-confidence. Being labeled weird is only a side effect of being your self. It was hardly a price to pay when I knew, that yes people were judging me, and yes, some people still didn’t, and don’t to this day, accept me, but at least it’s really me that they are making these judgments on. At least I know, at the very end of the day, that I have done everything in my power to not mask my true identity, and I never will again let my magic loving self hop on a broom and fly away.