who am i?

victoria - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Entered on October 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Who am I?

Every morning, as the kids from our high school get out of there Mercedes and Lexus’s, they see us as we pull up in our big, white van. “Quick, pull around to the other side of the school”, we all say pretending we’re joking, but secretly and unsaid everyone knows we’re not playing around. Yes, I’d have to say it’s a little embarrassing to know that people aren’t dumb; they see us, and even though few ever ask, we all know they know. Walking around the corner of the school, they watch us with questioning eyes’, they can’t all be sisters, but we are.

I was eight years old when I first came to the orphanage. My mother was a single mom with four daughters, struggling to make a way for herself. She sad it was a sad life to have to live and she didn’t want us to have to go through that. Sometimes, I miss her so much I cry at night, but for the most part coming here was the best thing for all of us. Even though I have a lot of people who care for me and call themselves my parents, she will always be my mother even though I am no longer under her wing.

Nine years go by, and I am seventeen now. I’ve done a lot of things in my past that I’m not so proud of. Constantly, I wanted more of something, and acted as if I were a spoiled brat, when I should be grateful. A few weeks ago someone saw I had a need, and like any good Christian person would do, tried to help meet that need. I was so stubborn and embarrassed even though I really could have used the offer, I turned it down. Having to be offered that because we couldn’t afford what we needed cut through my pride and straight to my heart like a dagger. I was so ashamed of not having the money to do all the things the other kids did I wanted to cry. I didn’t want anything to do with the life of an orphan or the orphans. Slowly, I began to isolate myself from those kids and that life. I was ashamed of who I really was.

This past year a teacher approached me and told me how proud she was of me. I didn’t know what to say considering I didn’t know what she was talking about. A little confused but bluntly I told her I have done nothing worth being proud of. She replied, “Yes, you have. I watch you in the hallways, and I see you being nice to everyone despite who they are. You talk to the African American kids, the rich kids, the kids who wear all black, and the kids that no one else will talk to. That probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to you, but it means the world to them.” Listening to her, I was shocked I didn’t even realize I did that. As her speech came to a close, she asked me why I did that. I thought about it for a second, and then let my eye’s wander until they met hers and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. They’re people and they have feelings.” Later that day I lay in my bed thinking of the things that the teacher had approached me with earlier that day. I began realizing why I’m like this, and it’s because of my life and growing up with a family that are nowhere close to the same type of people.

Never be ashamed of where you’re from because it has made you the person you are today. I’ve grown up my whole life almost with people of different races and religious backgrounds; I have learned how to deal with all people of all sorts. Ever since that day I am not ashamed of who I am or where I’m from because it’s made me a better person.