I Believe in Being Yourself

Megan - Loveland, Colorado
Entered on November 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I used to change colors like a chameleon. I was constantly trying to change myself so that other people would like me. I worried about what other people thought of me so much that I found my life slipping away while I cared what others thought of the way I acted, dressed, talked, and just about everything else I did. I finally got to the point where I was trying so hard for other people to like me, I really didn’t like myself anymore. I was like a rubber band stretched so thin, and about to snap. On many occasions I would come home in tears, wondering why some people didn’t like me, no matter how hard I tried to impress them. Too bad I didn’t know back then that those people weren’t worth it.

One period in my life where it would have been really useful to know this was back in second grade. There was a girl that was a year older than me. She was pretty, smart, funny, and I wanted nothing more than to be accepted by her. I longed to be her friend, so much that I would change things about who I was just to get her to like me. For a while, it finally seemed like it was working, and she was starting to be my friend. In the end it turned out she had just been using me for her own amusement. She had never planned on becoming my friend. Now looking back, I am thankful that she didn’t want to be my friend because I doubt she would have made a good friend anyway. Of course though, at the time I was crushed, and blamed it on myself that she didn’t want to have anything more to do with me. I got myself into thinking that there must have been something wrong with me. It never occurred to me that I just might not be the one with the problem. However, even after that experience I still hadn’t quite grasped the idea of being what I want to be. But it was definitely a step in the right direction. It really wasn’t too long ago that I started really noticing the change within myself. I finally am able to just be myself, and if other people don’t always appreciate it, I don’t worry about it anymore. To this day, I am still not sure what exactly triggered this belief, though my second grade experience probably contributed to it. But whatever the reason, I am sure glad it happened.

Now I have grown with a strong belief. I truly believe that nobody is worth changing yourself for. Other people will come and go, but you will have to live with yourself your whole life, so you might as well make sure you like who you are. Thats why I am no longer a chameleon that changes its colors to suit everyone else, but a butterfly who keeps its colors no matter what.