This I Believe

Michael - Waltham, Massachusetts
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Don’t Stick to the Status Quo!

I hate being normal! What is so fun about being like everyone else anyway? Nothing in your life is original or interesting or basically fun. All you really are is a follower, copying other ideas just because it is the “in” thing to do or what is accepted by everyone else.

What I believe in is originality; being proud to be different and letting your true colors be shown to the world. I think it is extremely important to respect your individuality and who you really are and not follow the crowd.

When I was a toddler, I was never like other two-year old boys. I was loud, jumpy, crazy, and anything but shy. Even though I was very athletic and loved sports, I also was extremely artistic. My mom would have to jam my mouth closed to stop me from singing and tie my legs down to keep from dancing. My Dad put me on the local youth hockey team, and my Mom put me in a dance class full of girls.

As I got older I continued to love the two sides of my life. I would always make the A team for hockey, soccer, and lacrosse, and I would always leap higher or spin faster than any other girl in my dance class. Growing up I had many groups of friends. I had trouble deciding whether to play football with the guys, or hide and seek with the other kids during recess. “Guys play sports, girls dance!” kids would scream at me. Some kids would never leave me alone. Sometimes I tried to fit in with everyone else, but I was either left miserable or still tormented.

One day, after some harsh criticizing remarks from my peers, I came home full of tears. I told my Mom how I hated being mocked and pushed around because I wasn’t like everyone else. I loved who I was and it was not fair to be hurt for being myself. My mother looked down at me and smiled; she told me that those kids were just jealous and were not worth getting upset over. She explained how amazing it was to be unique, different, and talented like me and to embrace who I really was. “No one can bring you down if you do not let them,” said my Mom, “Be proud of who you are and do not let anyone change that.”

Since that day, I have been tortured, ridiculed, and laughed at for some of the things I do, but I have never let anyone bring me down because of it. Today I am still doing everything I want to do. As a sophomore in high school, I still play hockey, along with track and lacrosse, and I am definitely still dancing, and acting as well. As my father says, I am a “Renaissance Man” and am proud to enjoy all the things I love, even if they are considered unusual in society. My originality has let me be different than everyone else. I have a unique, funky style, I love all groups of people from the goths to the jocks, and most of all I am me, and no one can change that. Not one person in the universe is remotely similar to me and that is what I believe is so special. Being different has allowed me to never hold back, take chances, accomplish all of my goals, and be happy with my identity. When I look in the mirror I don’t see a prep, or a jock, or a performer; in the mirror I see me, Michael Gxxx, and that is what I believe in.