This I Believe

Liz - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

My Self

I have an increasingly rare syndrome. I call it not having a recognized ailment of any kind–syndrome. I define “special” as appearing worse off than the general population, but being so thankful for what one has that one is actually better off. Once upon a time, everyone wanted to be normal. In our modern world, a fad has been spreading: no one wants to be normal, to be ordinary. Everyone wants to be special. I have only now started to realize that the only way I can be special is to understand what it means to be myself. I believe that discovering my true self will continue to be a difficult, yet essential and completely extraordinary journey.

I’ve been trying to find myself for years, ever since I started the fifth grade. At my elementary school, the epidemic of imitation began. Of course, the belief is that to be successful in life, “you should just be yourself.” I can’t help but wonder: if everything I say and do is copied, might my Self not actually exist? Everything I believe is monitored by what I have learned in my sixteen years of experience, as well as from what I have seen and heard in movies, magazines, books, and television. To be clear, I love all types of media; I doubt I could survive without it. Still, I can’t do anything without automatically thinking of a media reference. I feel as if I live in quotes. To everything I hear, I relate a quote or scene from a movie or show. If not spoken, then in my head. I feel programmed, as if I can’t be original, that no one really can be. I feel projected out of my body and can see myself, but never see my Self. I find it difficult for my heart to connect to the words my brain has told my mouth to say.

I feel like I can’t live my life now, that I can’t get in touch with my self, because I am not sure of who I am. It seems I’ve spent my whole life trying to be a better person; looking ahead of myself, looking for what I can change instead of seeing what I have now. I can’t be sure what makes a Self, if I need to do something important to become one, if I can only be complete if I fulfill a purpose. The one thing I am certain of is that I have actually started to love me, and that just loving me is enough to make me a Self, even if it is a Self that I still want to change so much. I’ve started to realize that all I need is my Self. The only way I can truly live is by knowing and understanding my Self. If I ever had to choose one person to be with for the rest of my life, it would be me.