This I Believe: Being yourself and living in the present

Louise - Vancouver, Canada
Entered on February 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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Looking into my own soul and patch work personality, I feel undefined and sewn together. I can feel different fabrics stitched and contrasting side by side, like ebony colored velvet and crackling, pallid leather. I still can’t believe how many years I have been floating around like a hot air balloon, not even thinking about the question: Who am I? I used to find myself dwelling in the golden-painful memories of the past, and fantasies and hopes of the future. Forgetting the present was so easily done, yet I neglected to treasure and cherish the gift of the present. I realized I badly needed self-definition, and to live more in the present, not the past or future.

Who am I? I had never thought about it. Just a few days ago, my friend and I were discussing our pasts and who we were. It seemed as if we both wanted to change ourselves, yet only I was the one who did not know what to change. I did not know what part of myself was actually me, or just forged. In middle school I was so quick to create myself into someone I wasn’t, a “cool” person; it was dull, and constricting. I was masked. Everyone saw me as a mirage of the past (little miss perfect) mashed with the present (trying to be cool), always shifting between two sides. I was never me, so I couldn’t make my own decisions. I decided to come to talons for a new start, so I could be me again, not plaster encased. Even now, I am still labouring to discover everything about myself, everyday, in everything I do.

How was I to move forward when half of me was left behind? A few years ago in school, a few of my friends would always tease me. I was the nerdy, fashion senseless little girl, which was enough to set me apart. Sometimes the teasing would go too far. I had been only induced to tears two or three times, but driven to dark thoughts on countless occasions. With the build up of a few harrowing events, that year became the most depressing and bleak period of my life. Luckily, my nature was forgiving, and I learned to leave it behind and step into the next day. I am so relieved I did that. A year or so later, some of those friends left for other schools or while the ones who stayed changed for the better, and I was able to have a great time with them. I unlocked my own chains and shot forward to catch up with myself. I know I must be able to let go, yet never forget. Needing to make every single second count, I try to not make any regretful decisions so I can enjoy and cherish NOW.

That patchwork quilt is still in progress, the lights and dark still contrasting, yet in a mellower and subtle way, like dark, creamy chocolate coloured wool and bright, golden yellow silk. To explore my inner self is sometimes a very daunting task. I’m still trying to learn whatever I can about myself, and I doubt I will ever reach the point of understanding myself fully. I have never gone through a huge, painful event on my journey that has blasted me with self realization, so I slowly, yet steadily work my way through one little step, one little story at a time to find my values and beliefs. To live in the present, I’m focusing on now, and making an effort to form choices which will not make me regret anything in the future. This is my way to live. At the end because I know that I am myself and only can be, I can solely put my faith, hope and dreams on my back. I am the solitary one who can carry them. This I believe.