This I Believe

Nikki - West Wareham, Massachusetts
Entered on January 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in being myself, and not who anyone else wants me to be. Why would I want to be anyone but myself? I am the one who knows me the best, but if I’m not me, then who will know what’s best for me?

I always try to stay true to myself, but when I was younger it was hard. I never had many friends, and the few I had weren’t very close. When I was with them, I was someone else. I wasn’t the quiet, shy bookworm that I was when I was alone. I was outgoing and…weird. I felt fake, but that didn’t stop me from pretending. I wanted friends so badly, I didn’t care.

As time went on, I slowly realized that if these people wouldn’t like the real me, then they weren’t really my friends. So, I slowly stopped pretending and revealed some of the real me, bit by bit, piece by piece. Pretty soon, I was no longer acting. I was completely myself. And you know what? They didn’t care. They were still my friends. And I felt a lot better when I wasn’t being someone else.

As I’ve gotten older, my friends have changed, but my belief is the same. I have changed a lot since my elementary days. Now I am outgoing and weird, but it doesn’t feel fake; it’s who I am now. And my friends love me for it. I think that if I continued pretending, I never would have met the great group of friends I have right now, a group that I am so thankful for. They embrace the real me and love me for it. And I do the same for them. Our world is so full of lies that I don’t need to add to it by pretending to be something I’m not. That’s why I believe in being myself and no one else.