One Mistake toward the Future

Ivy - Waltham, Massachusetts
Entered on February 1, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: race

One Mistake toward the Future

Ivy Watts

So let’s admit it, everyone has made a million mistakes in their lives. I have disappointed friends, boyfriends, my family, and even myself numerous times. I believe in mistakes being made to better yourself. The big and the small, and the ones that ruin it all. The mistakes that make you think.

I believe that my biggest mistake was lying to myself about who I was. I was born into this skin, but to others I never fit in it just right. For most of my middle school years I was ridiculed about who I had as friends. My friends didn’t look like me. People hated me, and I always felt like the laughing stock of the school. What hurt me the most was one day when one girl’s MySpace page had insults about me, when I had never done anything wrong to her. This was the day when I realized I was an outcast, and I just couldn’t find a way to fit in. Should I change the way I talk? The way I dress or walk? I remember asking my mom why I was born this way, why I couldn’t look like my white friends. I remember the ear piercing screams I yelled at her, blaming her for all of this. Why couldn’t you make me different? Why did you never force me to hang out with these black girls? I just felt the warmth of her hug as she held me until my eyes couldn’t cry any longer. Then I would paint a smile on my face, and then continue to lie to myself. I was avoiding the truth, and I felt neglected. The fake smile would fade every time I went home, and I would cry every day until I finally broke.

The teasing had gotten so bad that I was embarrassed to bring my own lunch to school because that was a “white girl” thing. I would try to hide my lunch behind my back so no one could see the white girl I was bringing out. Soon the abuse slowed, but I knew people still felt the same way. In eighth grade, all the taunting was almost finalized, until one boy told all the black girls at a lunch table that I was dying to sit with my own kind. This was a lie; I had never said anything to him. I had people asking me left and right if this was true. I was humiliated, completely mortified, and for once in a long time I cried over my old memories. I cried over the memories I wished to never encounter again. People were beginning to think I hated my own kind, which is also false. So I still pretended to be someone I wasn’t, just to fit in. I desperately wanted to walk away from this hell.

High school came, and I had a new attitude. I knew there would be more faces, and more whispers of judgment, but I prayed that I would survive through it all. Freshman year was fun, and there was little to none of this “white girl” name calling. I came to find out that the reason why the name calling had stopped was because of the black boyfriend I had had the year before, which wasn’t the first time. I didn’t understand how a boyfriend could change their perspective of me. So it makes me think, if I stayed single, would I still be living my middle school life? I came to realize that people don’t care about anyone but themselves, and don’t care at all about any one else’s feelings. Sophomore year and I’m finally safe inside this skin. This mistake has let me grow, letting me realize only I know who I really am as a human being, whether black, white, purple or green, I will still be me.

Throughout all of my mistakes, I have learned to overcome them. I have gained strength from them, bettering myself with each mistake. The greatest mistakes in life will not determine my future. Mistakes will broaden your outlook in life and in different situations. I used to think being perfect was a must. I used to think I had to fit the stereotypes and have people like the fake me, but my mistakes and the mistakes of others have shown me otherwise. I have been shown that imperfections are beautiful and show the person that you really are. So let the wind beneath my wings let me fly. Let me fly away from these mistakes. Put me on a fresh runway, I won’t look back.