This I Believe

Rachael - Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 27, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Interpreting Individuality

“So just live, make mistakes, and have wonderful times but never ever second guess who you are, where you have been, and most importantly, where it is that you are going,” said the infamous Carrie Bradshaw one evening on “Sex and the City”. As a seventeen year old girl trying to mold a unique identity, I cannot help but wonder if our mistakes and quirky personality traits truly do define who we are. Subconsciously, I find myself relating to Carrie’s reflections upon life, despite her simple character on an average TV show.

As adolescents we are entitled to make mistakes. It is all about experimenting, learning, and growing from these mistakes that help to shape you into the person you ultimately become. I believe that in order to fully learn about something one must experience it the hard way; you must make mistakes. I have chosen to live my life without regret, for I believe that it is merely a superfluous burden. Mistakes are should not be punished, rather, they should be considered a learning experience.

Since I was a child, I have consistently made daily efforts to stand out among my family members, peers, and close circle of friends. As I began to mature from an infant into a curious young child, my mother allowed me to do my own hair, create my own outfits, and present myself in a manner in which I felt the most comfortable. Over time, I began to develop a strong sense of creativity. Comically, my color selections frequently clashed and it simply looked as if I had not been introduced to a hair brush. Despite my out-of-the-ordinary appearance, I never felt embarrassed because I knew I shouldn’t be. As I began to form my identity at such a young age, I have learned that you should not second guess yourself or change your perspectives to blend into a crowd.

It is unfortunate to think of perfectionists or those with low self—esteem who have not experienced life through postive and negative encounters. I feel strongly that a child’s life should not be limited in fear of not being accepted and in fear of failure. With each blunder a lesson is learned, and a person becomes significantly stronger. As mistakes are made, and hopefully corrected, identities are cast into unique individuals who have the potential to do more than stand out in a crowd—they create the potential to excel. Besides, as Michelle Branch once said, “Who wants to be ordinary in a crazy mixed up world”?