This I Believe

Heather - Irmo, South Carolina
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Stop Looking For Yourself

The time is coming when I, as a soon-to-be-graduating high school student, must make that leap from parental dependency to an independent woman. I’ve been shaped by my parents’ and teachers’ ideals for years; molded to their fancies and conformed to their expectations. Now I guess it’s time for me to go and find myself. Only, I feel as if that’s just another requirement of me, complete with guidelines of past experiences and expected outcomes.

I believe that I don’t need to ‘find myself.’ I don’t believe I can. And I don’t believe that’s important.

Just like everyone else, I am a muddled pile of oxymorons, contradictions and inconsistenceis. Both my mother and my grandmother suffer from a chemical imbalance that causes depression, irritation and irrational behavior. Though my symptoms aren’t as acute as theirs, and probably attributed to teenage hormones more than anything else, there is no denying that I’m sufferig from the same fate. I jokingly call it the “monster me,” but unfortunately, this side of me is a challenge that I can’t rationalize away or control. It tears as relationships as fast as I can mend them, and my conscience just breaks with guilt at how I treat those closest to me. Is this really me? Or is the real me hiding away somewhere, only waiting for me to travel to Europe or California before if jumps out yelling, “Here I am!”

For a long time I fought with myself about just that. Am I both a despicable villain and a mild-mannered do-gooder? Or am I neither? Am I hiding behind both these faces to cover up the real me, which is stowed away in California or Europe, or in my case, Kentucky? Looking back over the messed up years of fighting my looks, actions and reactions I can confidently say, Yes, this is me. I may not like this monster side of me, but it is just as real and a part of me as the quiet, soft-spoken, kind person that wallks these shoes too.

I’m a teenager. I’m selfish and spoiled, and I stick my foot in my mouth on a regular basis. The Monster Me eats away at pleasantries and sanity, while the Angel Me holds up God’s beacon of love. But despite all of that I am Me. All of these swirls and eddies of my actions and emotions make up Me. And I believe that’s all I need to know.