This I Believe

Pollie - New Glarus, Wisconsin
Entered on January 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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“You’re acting like your sister,” my teacher would tell me. Inside my head I would scream, “Actually, I’m not, I’m just acting like me!” But instead I would reply politely laughing, “Yeah I get that a lot.” My whole life I’ve been living in the shadow of one person, my sister. I tend to sometimes wonder why I am in the shadow and not her.

But then I knew, this whole time, it was because my whole life I was known to everybody who knew me, my family, my community, my school as Paige’s little sister.

I walk down my high school hallway and I can’t help but think that they all judge me for my sister actions. And being at school is somewhat like torture. I don’t mind school, it’s the fact that I’m known as Paige’s little sister there that haunts me. I feel as though people think we’re Siamese twins. Thinking, talking, walking, eating, sleeping, all at the same time. Although were not conjoined at the head and share the same brain people see us as the same person. They think I’m exactly like her. “You’re Paige’s little sister right?” In my head I would reply with a snotty remark like, “No, I just look like her and have the same last name,” or “Why do you care?” But as an alternative I just simply reply with a grin on my face and say, “Yeah,” I know there thinking I’m just like her. Loud and obnoxious. I may some what be loud and obnoxious, but I’m not Paige, the name’s Pollie.


At times I look in the mirror and don’t know who I am. The echoing voices of “Paige’s little sister” wont get out of my head. The constant torture of being the shadow is wearing me down to the core of a worthless nothingness. What if they met me before they met my sister? They would see me for who I am, what I’m about, and my thoughts on the economic and sociologic problems in the world, instead of seeing my sister.

But people seeing my sister instead of me has taught me something. How to find the real me. Through the ongoing years of people naming me, judging me, seeing me only as Paige’s little sister. I am no longer just Paige’s little sister. My name is Pollie Chiarello; I am one person out of 6,679,493,900 people in the world. I am a responsible, yet at times irresponsible human being. I am selfish at times and get fiercely jealous. I am outspoken and very passionate. I like sitting and watching Star Wars on the weekend while studying for the next exam. I dance and sing in front of my mirror when no ones looking. I make mistakes. And I have many imperfections, but I know those imperfections make me who I am. And I am who I choose to be. But one thing that I’m not is my sister, I’m just me.