Tired of Being an Orange

Danielle - vincent, Ohio
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Two apples, and an orange. Which one is different? This is the type of question we are asked by our kindergarten teachers, and the response would always be “the orange.” From a young age, we are taught that being ourselves is wrong. We aren’t supposed to stand out or be different; we are supposed to be an orange. I believe it’s ok to be an orange, and being you because in life with the only thing that is truly yours.

You only get one shot at life, why waste it being somebody else? You should be proud of who you are. It doesn’t matter what race you are, man or woman, gay or straight, be yourself. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss. This quote couldn’t be more true, and it took me a very hard lesson for me to learn.

I have been an apple since around the 7th grade. My senior year of high school, I decided to become and orange. I grew up in a small town, and I was popular. With these factors, it was hard to be somebody different that everyone expected. But I finally got up the nerve to be myself. In May, I started dating a person what has changed my life. This person taught me that I need to be myself, and I was the one that had to be happy at the end of the day. Until a week before my friends and I left for college, I was this person I was expected to be.

On my last Friday in town, my friends and I went out to dinner to say goodbye. At the end of dinner, it was time to see how true my friends were. All of them were oblivious about who I was dating, and I thought for once I should show them the real me. I told them what was going on. To my surprise they thought it was awesome. That day I learned that my friends love me no matter what. When we left for college, everybody else found out, and it amazed me how people love to talk. All I could do was laugh because for once I was happy. I was finally an orange in a small town of apples.

Though it took me so long to become comfortable with being myself, I think it has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I realized that I needed to start thinking about myself, and s top living for other people. Be yourself. Be an orange. Be different. If we were all meant to be the same, we would be. Embrace your uniqueness and don’t hide it. People will love you no matter who you are, and if they don’t then they never really mattered. “You have to do your own thing, no matter what anyone says. It’s your life.”-unknown