I Yam What I Yam

Brian - Newcastle, California
Entered on September 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in being oneself is priority. To follow others is to danced masked, but to stand apart is truth. I believe that a person should act according to his or her own beliefs and not by the desires of their surrounding others.

I believe this because, for the longest time I would try to follow the majority, and I was usually a step or two behind them. Throughout grade school I tried to fit in by dressing like everyone else; baggy clothes, shirts that were way too big and shoes that looked ridiculous. During my first two years in high school I tried to act like everyone else, I tried on my jock attitude and discovered that I didn’t quite fit the part. I tried on my “I don’t give a crap about school” face and let my grades drop. I quickly realized that I do care about my grades and more specifically, my future. Last, I attempted to fit into the all around cool kid pose. I would lie about my hobbies, make up stories about my totally rad vacations and say, “yeah I’ve had to dump a couple of hot girls.” These years of my life were hell. I never enjoyed myself, my real friends were never sure of whom I really was, and my parents would simply raise their eyebrows at me. That summer, the summer following my sophomore year, things change.

I got a job at Bucks Lake Marina for the summer. I was 15 years old and was halfway living on my own out off a tent and a van for this job. Being 40 miles from Oroville, there were always a lot of different people coming through. The difference between there and here back at school is that there were very few people close to my age and it would have been impossible to mimic a fad that would really keep me in style. This was the coolest job for me because I met some of the coolest people that I know there. Kim and DeWitt were my bosses. Bob, Todd and Archie were my co-workers and Ski was an old friend of everyone. These people were older than me, a lot older. Kim and DeWitt taught me that being myself is more appreciative by others and that my own style fits into society a lot better verses trying to fit a mask over myself. I gained hard earned morals from Bob and Todd; trust, honesty, determination, a strong work ethic and most importantly, a sense of humor. Lastly, from the veterans, Archie from Vietnam and Ski being one of the Chosen Few, I learned not to let others put me down. This job was a life changing experience for me and I whole heartedly appreciate everything that these people taught me.

Throughout my Junior, and what has past so far of my Senior year, I was myself, and I loved it. I get along better with people, my friends are more eager to hang out with me and girls try to get with me. Life is good; I’m happier and feel more comfortable around others, because I don’t care what others might think of me. The difference that I discovered about fitting into society and truly being oneself is that one needs to act according to his or her own beliefs and desires and push out of their heads what others might think of them. However, the most important thing that I have learned is to never let someone put you down for being who you truly are only because you have the courage that there are lacking to break the mold.