This I Believe

Zack - Dowagiac, Michigan
Entered on October 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Did anyone ever tell you to just be yourself? I have. And it always pays off. Sometimes around people we don’t know or people we’re not around much, we don’t act like ourselves. We try to act “cool” or just do stupid things. I’m going to tell you why you should always be yourself.

I’m Zack and I’m in a band. We play shows at local restaurants/bars. One time we were getting ready to play at a place in Vandalia. There are five members in our band. Oscar, Tony, Grant, Jon, and I. Tony, Grant, and I were hanging out before the show and talking about what songs we were going to play. Tony is usually just like me: he speaks his mind and does his own thing. But lately he had been acting different around his other friends. He’d been trying to be a “hippie.” The whole act: tie die, headbands, bandanas, tight pants, long hair, writing the words “peace” and “love” all over the place and just not acting like himself. He’d been hanging out with different people because they thought he was someone else. For some reason, that day when he were getting ready for the show is when it started to make me mad…I wanted my friend back!

We were getting our “show clothes” on and he was once again dressing like a hippie. And I said, “Dude, do something real for once.”

He said, “This is real dude.”

I replied, “Tony, you’re not a hippie, get over it. You listen to heavy metal, you worship sports, and you’re not a tree-hugger. Just act like Tony.”

That conversation ended with him saying, “Whatever.”

This pointless, short story got me thinking. “Do I always act like myself?” The answer was no. I’m never myself around people I don’t know. Sometimes I worry what people will think, which is something you should never do. Why? Because people will probably like the real you better than the “shy, fake you.” As an example, I’ll tell you another story.

My friend Ryan and I weren’t always friends. We would always run into each other at Tony’s house. He was always there because he’s Tony’s cousin. We never said two words to each other because we both thought that the other one was weird. But that’s because we weren’t ourselves. I never talk to people I don’t know. But we discovered that we listen to the same music and that got us hanging out. Now we do almost exactly the same thing. We both play football, we both play music, and, yes, we both have a little trouble with the ladies. Now we’re pretty much best friends.

It just goes to show you, if you be yourself things will go a lot better for you. You should never try to impress someone by acting like them when you are nothing like then at all. It will just lead to a bad situation. Always be yourself and don’t ever worry about what other people think.