This I Believe

Ellie - USA
Entered on September 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: love
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The Hidden

I believe in the hidden.

I have no pitying problems; no physical deformities, no sob stories about my parents, no troubled phases, no citations or suspensions or even detentions. I am only 4’ 10”, but that has never been a problem past 3rd grade when a boy called me “shrimp” and I cried. There is nothing that I have seen to traumatize me. I do not need therapy, although I have been to a few counseling sessions via the school counselor, who told me everything that I already knew in a nicer way.

However, I am not who you think. With my flawless grades and natural talents, I am not the trouble-free teenager you believe I am. Neither are my friends. Or my family. Or anyone that I’ve ever met. I do not believe in the stereotypes given to myself, or others. Everyone has a voice; that certain person inside, hidden from the world. There are things that we will never know and words that will never be spoken, but they stand tall inside, wild and loving and hating and hurt.

I have no problems that you may see with your eyes, nor problems that psychoanalysis will reveal. Still, I do have problems. All my life I’ve been balancing the line, trying to be nice and coming out overbearing, too sarcastic, and—my favorite—too outspoken. There was never a moment when I didn’t second-guess every syllable that escaped my mouth. Sitting on my bed with tears streaming, I bemoan my shortcomings time after time, singing melodies and verses that make me feel closer to my Maker. I hope to have never been the cause of someone else sitting on their bed, eyes open floodgates. I’ve come very close to it. A beautiful girl sat crying on the step. One collective glare from those around her seemed to broadcast my name into the sky, followed by “HOW DARE YOU”, in big bold, cloud letters. I’ve never felt that awful. To this day, it rings true. But I’ve found the hidden.

Deep down, I care so deeply for human beings as a whole that I would easily give up my time, my money, my grades. I love more than anyone can know. I love despite the fact that I don’t believe I’ll ever find it in another. I love no matter how bad the person has misunderstood my intentions, like the girl on the step. I love because few else will. I have found my deep voice.

Now, I’ll endeavor to find the others. There are lovers, fighters, pacifists, peacemakers, soul searchers, life-threateners, movers and shakers; they’re out there, well, in there. When someone passes by me with nothing but a smile and a nod, I see the bright character hiding inside, peeking through their eyeballs, parting their eyelashes. I wish to call out to them, to beckon them into the daylight. One day, we’ll be a world of open individuals. Until then, I believe in the hidden.

-Elle Grant