I Am Me

Nisha - Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 27, 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.

In fifth grade, I witnessed some great acting in so-called friendships. Truly, it amazed me- it occurred in only the fifth grade; we were still quite young for this to be going on. I ascertained with acrimony that one of my acquaintances had a “frenemy.” In this case, they pretended to be friends on the outside, but were actually enemies on the inside for no apparent reason. It was pathetic to watch. But I learned something that year.

I am aware that an indeterminable amount of people pretend to be someone they are not or try to change themselves. Maybe they want to fit in with a specific group, like my fifth grade friend and her “frenemy.” Maybe they don’t know exactly who they are. But, though they may make sense to some people, they are still excuses.

Be yourself. This I believe.

Why is that so hard for some people? It must be such a Herculean endeavor that it is truly impossible. Right? Until fifth grade, I would have answered, “Wrong.” But now, I am not entirely sure. For me, acting as myself is simple. For others, however, it is not- my fifth grade experience proved that.

It is not necessary for people to feel that they must change themselves or be someone else entirely to consider themselves good enough for anyone, even themselves. Every single person in the universe holds an identity that belongs only to that one person. If some person decides that he or she isn’t interesting enough for that particular person, or intelligent enough to hang out with this person, or pretty enough to be the friend of the girl over there, then why should the person force him/herself to change just for those particular people?

The choice is up to that person. Does he or she want to be someone else, for a day, a week, a month, a lifetime? If so, then go ahead- as I wrote before, it is his/her decision. A tragic decision nonetheless, but I cannot force anyone to do anything.

Be you, and only you, and not change for anyone who demands it. This I believe.