This is Me

Elise - Andover, Massachusetts
Entered on September 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I was always the shy and quiet girl. I didn’t like to talk to my teachers, or my friends parent’s, I kept to myself. When I got to middle school, this was an issue for me. All the girls seemed so comfortable being loud and crazy, how could they act like that in front of everyone? I was very easily embarrassed, which is why I didn’t say much, I never wanted to say the wrong thing. I looked down when I walked, barely said hi to people in the hallways, and never looked teachers in the eye. I was a scared little girl, quiet and shy. I never knew why I would get so embarrassed over saying hello to someone in the hallway. I thought a lot about what other people thought. I never wanted the attention on me, I didn’t want to have to try and impress anyone. I dressed very plainly, wore my hair very simple, and was just there. I liked to be invisible because it was just easier for me.

My friends were kind of loud and crazy, but I was still the quiet one. I just sat back and watched, it was funny. I never had to be involved in the craziness, until I met Devin. Devin loved the way she looked; she was so friendly and outgoing. I envied the way Devin didn’t have to think about what people thought; it was like she just knew everyone liked her. Over the next few years in middle school Devin helped me come out of my shell. She showed me what it was like to be myself, and if people didn’t like me for the person I was, that was their loss.

Then high school came and I wished I were invisible again. I climbed back into my hermit shell and stayed quiet. I still hung out with my friends and had fun with them, but I wasn’t the same around people I didn’t know. Once again I cared about what they thought, if they were looking at me, and why they were looking at me. Finally, Devin confronted me about it, “Why are you always so quiet?” she asked. I told her I didn’t know why, I was just insecure. I told her wished I could have the confidence she had, and have no insecurities. She told me her secret, and it seemed so simple. She said to me, “Elise, I have more insecurities than you will ever know. But I don’t think about that, because I believe in myself. Just believe in yourself, don’t care what other people think, the only one that matters is you.” I have followed that statement with all of my heart since then. Devin and I are still the best of friends, and she will always be very close to me. This is what I believe, believe in yourself because, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss.