Fitting In Less

Logan - Ankeny, Iowa
Entered on October 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I used avoid doing anything that might seem to some people “uncool” or “weird”. I always used to act very normal when around other people. Now it’s different.

My revelation that the things I do shouldn’t be affected by how peers view me happened in the summer between sixth and seventh grade.

My friend Taylor came over and we were playing with Marbleworks when the playing escalated into who can build the coolest looking gun with the pieces from the set. After sufficiently building the weapons to megaultradestruction size, Taylor had the bright idea to go to the park across the street from my house and play “the gun game.”

Never had I ever heard of such an uncool idea! People couldn’t see me with my toys playing in public. Maybe indoors or in the backyard, but never in public!

Then he said two words to me that changed my life then and still impact me now. The words were, “Why not?”

At first I tried to tell him about uncoolness of people seeing me with makeshift weapons. He then said two more words that had much the same effect as the two previous words. He said, “Who cares?”

I thought about it and it hit me—“Why not?!? Who cares!?!” It doesn’t matter to me anymore!

Today I am much more willing to take risks and not care if people see me doing something out of the ordinary—like making an intramural dodgeball team named Spontaneous Implosion where our team uniform consisted of red tights (women’s XL), tight white shirts and short basketball shorts.

Not only was our record 1 win and 14 losses, but we had fun doing it. Never once did I feel embarrassed, thanks to my friend’s words of advice.

I believe that if people would care just a little less about how they think people view them and a little more about having fun and accomplishing things, then the way people act and the risks they take would dramatically change for the better, this is what I believe.