Everyone but me

Daniel - Davis, California
Entered on February 24, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

One of the clearest things I can remember from when I was younger is looking up to others. I learned everything I know from these people: how to walk, talk, what’s cool, what’s right and wrong, and even what a hot girl looks like. So when I was told that selfless acts are right and that things should be done for the “greater good”, the idea fit perfectly. I wanted more than anything to grow up to make the world a better place. To give all I could to humanity. Without even knowing it, I judged everything I did in others people’s eyes. Well the group likes this a lot, I do too. They think he is a good person, so do I. I kept living my life, never even questioning my thoughts. Years passed, and I thought I was happy, but feelings of despair slowly built up. There were times when I felt like I could never do enough. It was impossible to be the person they wanted me to. I could not stand being in my own body. I buried the feelings deeper and deeper, pushing them to the darkest corners of my mind; the whole time convincing myself I was still happy with the way things were.

The feelings tore me apart, but all I could think is that this is right. I know it must be, because its everything I’ve ever known. It’s everything they told me. I know they can’t be wrong! It can’t all be wrong…

I snapped. My mind screamed with desperation! Why should I give a damn about these people?! Why do I care what they think?! Why do I do so to please them?!….. Why aren’t I happy!?

And it happened. I had let it all go except for one thought. I don’t have to be like this. I don’t have to think like them. I don’t have to be a part of the group. I……. I… I!

It felt so good to say. This thought was mine and no one else’s. It felt as if this was the first thought I ever had. The first I said that ever really mattered. The feelings of insecurity, of wanting so badly to be different were gone. For the first time in my life, I didn’t need anyone to tell me what to think. I didn’t need them to approve of me anymore. It was like ecstasy. I felt happier than I thought possible. I was finally free.

The next morning, I could hardly even believe what had happened. It seemed like it had been a dream, Like it couldn’t have been true. Like I couldn’t of escaped. The only way I knew was true, was because below all the old feelings was something new. I felt at peace with myself.

So the next time someone asks me what I believe, I can think of one thing to say: I believe in me.