This I Believe

Amy - Stillwater, Oklahoma
Entered on January 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that it is in the shallow breath of time between the ages of young adulthood and the time that is deemed adulthood one begins to piece together the jagged sectors of their identity. I am a minority, one of those individuals who at one time were part of a proud identity. This identity was emblazoned upon their chests and made to become a demoralizing symbol. Today living in the South, I am still hiding in the shadows of the truth.

When my identity is revealed to one person it seems as if I shout it to the wind. The wind carries my identity and whispers it into the ears of my peers. I can feel this wind shaking the panes as people say “I have never met one of you before”. As if I am part of a one, sometimes this “one” does become lonely in her isolation.

The life that I live in college is coming to a close. The first two years I was no closer to understanding myself nor revealing myself to other individuals. A friend introduced me to another friend who was “one of those” to whom by birth and love I belong. This new acquaintance came running to me arms out stretched crying “fellow jew”. To these lines one would think my heart opened but instead I felt my soul tighten, my eyes deepened with internal isolation. For you see there are two kinds of “one of those”: the one who embraces this oneness as part of their identity, and the one who feels the stained glass pieces of their soul grating against the revelation of this shard of their identity.

Time passed and this “one” and I became closer friends. The friends of my sophomore year accused me of being “too Jewish” rather than being the talkative socialite, I had become consumed with my friendship with other members of the community that shared my beliefs. Rather than attempting to hide my identity once again, I began the process of accepting a pane of my individuality that they could not replicate.

My soul is sometimes shattered in places with the stones that tear fissures into my identity. For a moment in time I became consumed with airing it to the light. I enjoyed looking at the reflection of my identity pouring through into the open. Eventually, I found the solder to tighten the weak places; the places once fractured are slowly drying into a fused more vibrant image. I have realized that the separate pieces of glass form into one larger image. Yes, I am “one of those” but this is just one of the pieces featured in the complete image of the stained glass. The age of twenty-one has allowed me to meet various identities discovering the complexity of their own souls. I believe with the help of others and the passage of time one can come to accept the pieces of themselves as a reflection of their whole identity.