This I Believe

Katie - Yukon, Oklahoma
Entered on May 9, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

When we were assigned this essay, our teacher told us that we had to share it with the class for a full grade. Everyone groaned and there were sighs of exasperation, but I was excited. This was my last chance to express myself. My last chance to give a piece of my heart to those I had spent the past thirteen years of my life with.

Then came the task of choosing which part to share. What did I believe in? Well, laughter and happiness and love were big ones, but who doesn’t believe in those? I thought of what defined me. What is the most important thing to me? The answer came quick and simple. Friends, the people who have known me and knew all my flaws yet still decided to stick by me.

People say that college is the place where you will find your true self, a place where you will mature and grow into who you were really meant to be. I believe they were wrong. If high school life hasn’t shaped me, then what has?

About the time when I leaving middle school and entering high school, I noticed that if I hung out with certain people enough, I would pick up their little phrases, the little quirks that made them unique. I was really bothered by this. I was a copycat, a fake, too pathetic to have my own personality. I tried to not talk to any one particular after that for at least two weeks. You’d be surprised by how hard it is to not really have anybody to talk to, especially for someone as rambunctious as me. Those two weeks were horrible. Teenagers don’t really know who they are anyways, but to think that I had no sense of self, to think that I had stolen it all. I was just a wannabe. But after awhile I realized, maybe that is my personality: to mimic those that have influenced me. It’s so much more than that now.

Voltaire once said, “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.” The Webster dictionary defines judicious as: characterized by sound judgment; imitation as: the quality of an object in possessing some of the nature or attributes of a transcendent idea. What I have judged to be of sound quality, I have imitated. Kindergarten was where we supposedly were meant to learn how to share. I guess I never learned because I keep taking.

I believe that I am the world’s biggest thief, stealing a little piece of those that matter to me to make the quilt that is my personality, my soul, and my very outlook on life. Thank you for sharing.