This I Believe

Lillian - Lafayette, Colorado
Entered on January 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in individuality. I have learned that both being myself and being satisfied with myself is key to having self-confidence. People who have higher self-esteem are more independent; they don’t rely on others to make them feel happy about who they are. Why waste life thinking about how you wish you could be different? After all, it is our unique features and unusual talents that make us differ from the other people in the world. What fun would it be if everyone had blonde hair, blue eyes, same bone structure, wore blue jeans and a white shirt, and were really smart? Everyone has different interests, styles, and looks because without that our world would not be so diverse.

I am an individual. I am comfortable with myself. I am different. I was born with a droopy left eye. In the first few months after my birth my mother thought it was just a temporary defect from the delivery but she eventually took me to a doctor when there were no signs of change. The doctor said that I was missing the muscle that keeps my eyelid up and that the only concern was if my vision were to become further obstructed. My mother began taking me to eye appointments yearly to make sure my vision was not changing, and fortunately it never did. It was about the age of eight when I really noticed that my eye was not normal. My parents and I went to a couple of eye doctors to hear that surgery would have to be done, but my eye would then never shut all the way. I was really distraught about that idea so I chose to not change anything.

Seeing that I look at myself in the mirror daily, I got used to my eye and didn’t think about it unless someone mentioned it. I had been home-schooled up until almost fifth grade, and it was when I began public school that the awareness of my appearance came up again. I didn’t want to be different; I wanted my eyes to look the same. Once again, my mother and I decided to consult a doctor to see if anything had changed. The eye never shutting was still the issue, but I decided to make an appointment for surgery on my eye anyway. However, it was about a month before the scheduled surgery when I began to really worry about it. I was scared of changing something permanently and also of the surgery in general.

Surgery is scary enough, let alone surgery on your eye. After much discussion with my parents, we decided to cancel the surgery until I was ready. Though having the surgery still comes to mind, there is something about it that continues to scare me. Some days I still wish my eye could be normal, but more often I feel like this is something unique about me. I don’t meet too many people with my same condition and it’s something special about me.

Through my years, I have found my eye to be a component of my individuality and it makes me unique. Though it has taken some time and might still need some convincing on occasions, I have enough self-confidence to know that I am special in my individual way. I believe in individually; enough said.