This I Believe

Trisha - Covington, Washington
Entered on April 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Loud. Crazy. In-your-face. Shy. Intimidating. These are all qualities that could describe someone’s personality. They shouldn’t be locked up for no one to see or witness. They should be displayed on a billboard screaming, “This is ME!”

Sometimes I wish I was a kid again. So carefree and never worrying about what other people thought me. If someone called me stupid, I would throw dirt on them and move on. Once I started to grow up, I began to notice that there were always people around me, pointing out all my flaws, telling me to be someone that I was obviously not. I have learned that you should never try to change yourself to please others. I believe, no matter what, you should always be yourself.

I’ve moved many times throughout my life. With every new school and all the new faces, my confidence slowly dwindled. More then anything, I just wanted to blend in. Never stand out or be noticed in a crowd. One moment in my life, this was especially true.

In 4th and 5th grade, it seemed like my best friend and I had the closest relationship. We hung out constantly and told each other everything. Her family felt as if they were mine. Then 6th grade came and we started our first year of middle school. This is when everything started to change. My best friend was not being herself at all and it confused me because I knew the real her. You would think that all her pretending would be hard for her, but it actually affected me more than she would ever know.

From elementary school to middle school, the people didn’t change. I was surrounded by Blacks and Asians and our skin color never seemed to be a problem. Even though the people didn’t change, my best friend started to see the differences between us. It started to matter to her that I was white and she was Asian. She started putting me down for it. She made me feel ashamed to be white. This may sound ridiculous because you usually don’t think of this as an issue in 6th grade. As a young girl, I really didn’t fully understand that what was going. All I knew, was that someone I loved like a sister, was telling me I wasn’t good enough because of my race. This was a low point in my life because I would go home constantly thinking about everything she said was wrong with me. During the whole time, I only wished I wasn’t me.

I thought that being someone else would make me happy, but it actually did the exact opposite. I would ask myself, “Why aren’t you showing everyone who you really are?” I would never confront the issue fully. It took me the whole year to finally tell my dad, someone I tell everything to, how I really felt. But everything started changing once I moved to Washington before the 7th grade.

The first year or so I was here, it was a bit of a struggle trying to find myself. It only took three amazing people to make me comfortable in my own skin, Kayleigh, Alisia and Hilary. With their friendship, I learned to accept who I was. Then I look back on my problems with my old best friend and I realize it actually made me stronger. I’m now proud to be who I am. I have finally found best friends where I know we’ll always ourselves around each other and never afraid to show who we really are. We know that no one is hiding their personality, afraid of what we’ll think, difference in personalities is what makes us connect.

I have learned that when you aren’t being you, you’re not only hurting yourself, you are hurting the people around you. Never let someone try to mold you into something you don’t want to be. If you’re loud, then scream at the top of your lungs. If you’re extremely intelligent, don’t hold back, let people know. Life will be a million times better and more enjoyable if you follow one simple rule. Be yourself.