This I Believe

Satina - AMES, Iowa
Entered on November 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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The Crock-of-You-Know-What World

I believe in a natural world; a world that is not based on looks and money. The world I believe in does not pass unfair judgment and does not pressure to conform. Instead, my world includes. My world accepts differences and embraces them.

I remember when I belonged to a different world. I was plagued by the need to be accepted for who I was not. It was a place for no rebellion. I was told what to wear, what to buy, what to do, and worst of all, what and whom to accept. Society controlled my every action. I didn’t wear anything without considering what others would think about me, nor would I even speak without passing judgment on myself. I envied anorexic models and lived by beauty magazine guidelines. I was a trend zombie. Whatever was “in”, I wanted. I knew that if I didn’t have name brand everything, then I was an outcast and that was unacceptable. I lived for approval from others and I longed for compliments. I wanted nothing more than to fit in and be considered cool, but I still thought I was an individual.

It wasn’t until halfway through high school when I realized, that world was a crock-of-you-know-what. It was shocking to look at my life and see the time wasted on things that were unimportant. Why should I take thirty minutes to pick out an outfit when I could do something that makes a difference? In ten years no one is going to remember what brand of jeans I wore or if I didn’t wear makeup to school sometimes. However, if I helped someone through a rough time instead of going shopping, it would be remembered, even if only by the person I helped. It was only a moment’s passing, but my life changed forever. Now, I make it a point to not wear name brand clothing. I never spend more than ten minutes getting ready to go somewhere. I don’t buy the latest gadgets because everyone has one. In fact, I still haven’t purchased an IPod or something equivalent because it’s not a necessity.

I realize now, the world is bigger than the area in which I live. What does it matter if the people my age like me, because all the people my age that know me don’t even make a dot on the globe. I understand that it isn’t what others think of me but what I think of myself. Although I catch myself conforming every once in a while, for the most part, I’m a different, rebellious, and unaccepted, but I’m okay with that. As John Mason once said, “You were born an original- don’t die a copy.”