This I Believe

Danica - Hamilton, Montana
Entered on January 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in realness. I want people to unashamedly be who they are: to express their passions and be honest with other people. By taking this idea to heart, I appear to be set apart from the rest of my fellow teenagers. I actually enjoy solving difficult math problems, I love to learn foreign languages, and I run long distances. My peers ask me in astonished voices, “Why?!” Because that is who I am!

Look at my generation. We are sometimes called unmotivated and indifferent. By watching my peers, I have seen glimpses of each one’s spark, that thing that makes them who they are. Through conversations with a boy at my school, I found out that he is highly interested in medieval weaponry. I never would have guessed that just by looking at him. My peers have passions, but they are kept hidden, maybe because it’s out of the ordinary or not popular. And what is ordinary? In a society where realness is embraced, there is no such thing as out of the ordinary because nobody is ordinary. I want people to bring their passions out of the closet and share them with the world.

Another aspect of realness is honesty in relationships. Too often, relationships are formed based on false emotions or words. It seems as if people feel they need to like everyone around them. Although I am respectful to others, I don’t have to like everyone. I shouldn’t pretend that I do, because that’s not being real. Don’t get me wrong, relationships with others are essential to one’s well-being. But authentic relationships are those based on truth, where each person can be his or her self. On several occasions a friend of mine has lied to me because she thought the truth would make me mad. In reality, it is the lying that angers me. If I ask her what she is doing on a Friday night, I don’t want to be lied to because she is going somewhere I wasn’t invited. Does she think I can’t handle the truth?

When living my so-called “out of the ordinary” life, the phrase “It’s not easy being green” comes to mind. It seems as if those being their real selves are the “green” ones, marching to the beat of a different drummer than everybody else. I believe nobody shares a drummer. Although it may take time to discover your own rhythm, we all can find our real selves and share them with each other.