At the beginning of middle school, all I wanted to do was blend in. I was from out of district and had no friends and was dreading being cast out as the “new girl.” I tried to be just like everyone else and made some superficial friends. I thought I was happy with my new shallow self, but then I realized that I wasn’t me. I wasn’t being true to who I really was.
On October 13, 2006, I had a surgery to remove a bone tumor in my leg that put me on crutches for 16 weeks. It is really hard to go unnoticed when you have two long metal poles attached to your arms and you have a bright lime green cast on your leg.
I was so uncomfortable during my time on crutches. My “friends” didn’t support me. They didn’t cast me out, but they didn’t welcome me back either. I found myself surrounded my by people who didn’t like me. I would cry myself to sleep every night because I had no true friends. I decided that I was not happy where I was, so I decided to be true to myself. Suddenly when I stopped hanging out with the same people, new people offered to carry my backpack or sit with me at lunch. I created a whole group of true friends who liked me for who I was, with or without crutches. My friendships grew and blossomed, I still am close will all of those people who reached out to me in 6th grade.
I guess my belief could be summed up as “being yourself”, but that sounds so cliché. So the better way to define it is being unique. The dictionary defines “unique” as being the only one or being without like or equal, but I think that being unique just means doing things that make you happy, even if it means you don’t fit into a mold.
Even today I don’t fit into any mold. I walk around being myself and people respect me for it. I continue to make new genuine friends who respect me. I see girls who deny who they are for their peers and I pity them. Because when you are yourself, you are happy.