I have been referred to as the “little Clasby” for as long as I can remember. My older siblings always seemed to make lasting impressions in places before I even get to them. Throughout my whole middle school career, I could see that people expected me to be able to be as graceful an athlete as Erin, my sister, or be able to command a stage like Misha, my brother. When I changed schools in 6th grade, I had a feeling the routine would be the same as it had been in every other school I have been in, and I was right. I was greeted with many “OH MY GOD, YOU LOOK SO MUCH LIKE ERIN.” Or, “You’re clearly a Clasby.”
Okay, yes. I do have the same shaped face as Erin, and my smile looks exactly like Mishas, but we are different people. Instead of correcting the people at my new school from the start as a shy 6th grader, I hid behind my siblings talents for the first two years at my school. It was much easier for me just to let people assume that I was a clone of my siblings, than actually to show who I was and to be judged for myself. I let people think that if I was put up to it, I could deliver lines in an outstanding fashion, or score 15 baskets in a basketball game. And I think for those first two years, I even believed that I could so those things myself. I wanted to badly to be accepted, and to be loved at the school the way my siblings were that I hid who I really was. But, by the end of my 7th grade year, it was pretty evident I was nothing like my siblings, not matter how hard I tried to convince people. I was in a play my 7th grade year and it was obvious I was not made for the stage. And, I also played basketball, where I demonstrated how much skill I lacked. So, in my 8th grade year, I started to show people who I really was, and it helped me recognize that who I was wasn’t anything to hide.
I can’t run the Boston marathon, like Erin, or star in a play, like Misha, but I don’t care anymore. I finally understand that the only person I can be is me. I can make people laugh even when they’re having a bad day. I can paint and sketch. And, I can walk into a room full of strangers and become friends with almost all of them in a matter of minutes. So, I believe in being you. Everyone has a fear of being rejected, but when you pretend your something your not, people will never be able to see what makes you unique.
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