An Original Piece

Renee - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Entered on October 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

An Original Piece

Do you follow the crowd or do you tend to live your life slightly outside of the box? We live in a world today where the majority of people choose to conform to the safe and mundane, never daring to leave their comfort zones. TV and magazines tell young men and women what to wear, how to act, what to say, and what is expected of them in the future. Go to college, get a job, start a family, live in suburbia, and then retire and die. This is the life that most people will choose, working in a cubicle or living in a neighborhood where every other house is identical to the other. The majority of the time we don’t even notice that we are falling into a daily pattern, or slowly losing ourselves to this hectic and crazy life until something comes along to completely throw us off kilter. I found myself changing my way of life one time in order to fit into a new environment, and the end result wasn’t at all pretty.

When I began Junior High, I had decided to reinvent myself which meant new clothes, new makeup, and a new me. My goal was to transform myself from a messy tomboy into an average teenage girl. I traded in bike riding, reading, rock climbing, and running through the rain for chatting on the phone and shopping. I would talk about my friends behind their backs to impress other girls, and looked the same as any other popular girl in school. My old friends were soon replaced by new ones who I believed to be higher up on the popularity scale, and I was perfectly content until the day that I discovered that I had lost the ability to have a conversation without saying something insulting about someone else. It was then that I realized I had abandoned the core of who I was completely. That night I took the time to step outside of myself and take a good look at this so-called new and improved me. What I saw disgusted me. My benign attempt to change myself had completely backfired. I had managed to transform my life from an adventurous roller coaster into a monotonous carousel ride, and along the way I had betrayed some of the most amazing friends I could ever ask for without even realizing it. Right then I made a personal oath to be completely true to myself no matter how much of a freak it would make me.

Since then I have recovered the original me, and I’ve even managed to discover new aspects of my personality I never knew existed. One thing that I have learned from this experience is that in order to go places and be truly satisfied when looking back at past experiences, it is essential to be able to stay true to your beliefs and stand out from the crowd. When thinking of some famous or successful people such as an author, musician, actor, director, or entrepreneur and ask what got them to where they are today, the answer would be their unique style or crazy ideas that got them to where they wanted to be. These people were able to stand apart from the competition and let their creativity show even though others may have told them they would never get anywhere. My role model, the famous director, Tim Burton, is a perfect example. When he was asked about his unique style he answered, “I struggled with the realistic style of drawing. And one day I was sketching, and it was this weird mind-blowing experience. I said ‘I don’t care if I can’t draw, I’m just gonna draw, and satisfied myself.”

In the end, whether you’re trying to make it to the top or just simply trying to live every day to its fullest, I have learned from my experiences that the best way to do so is to live life never even knowing where the box is let alone actually stepping inside it. Oh, and try not to lose yourself along the way.