This I Believe

Entered on November 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Growing up I was taught that everybody makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. But what happens when your parents contradict themselves and turn into exactly what they told you, you shouldn’t be? The answer: you get Suburbia.

Recently, my dad moved my stepmom and I into a new house. I thought it would be okay at first, the house is amazing and everybody in the neighborhood seemed nice enough. The only downside was being farther away from my life—my school, friends, and my mom and stepdad. The day we moved in, I sat looking out my window observing my new surroundings. That’s when it all came clear and I realized my belief in breaking stereotypes. It was so obvious, how had I not noticed it before? I don’t know why just staring out the window made me realize it, but it did. I was in Suburbia. All of the young neighborhood kids played together in their front yards, their fathers washed their brand new, shiny SUV’s in the driveway, their mothers sat with each other on the porch and talked, and everybody had a smile on their face. It seemed too perfect; it fit the conformity, exactly the opposite of the way my parents taught me.

Sitting there staring down at all the masks of happiness, it hit a nerve inside of me. I wasn’t like them. I could never, and would never be like them. All in that one second, I understood that I needed change in my life, I needed to be around diverse people with different beliefs and opinions, I needed people to be real, to feel and show raw emotion, not cover it up and pretend that everything is always okay. I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t turn out to be like them, I would break the conformity and do what I like to call, “scratch the surface of Suburbia”. I won’t wear that big fake, plastered on smile that I see everyday before I go to school; I will be who I am. I know that people may or may not like me for this but I have a strong group of friends and family that stand behind me and support me because they like who I truly am. They are the ones that help me embrace my flaws and imperfections because they, just like me, know that things are never going to be the way my neighbors portray them to be.

I will always be the klutzy girl that lives down the street and laughs at herself more than anything else. Sitting in that window just watching that scene caused me to realize who I didn’t want to be, which ultimately helped me see who I did want to be. I will keep to my vow and try to “scratch the surface of Suburbia” because you know what? People do make mistakes, things happen, and nobody is perfect, no matter how hard they try, just like my parents taught me.