My Life of Not Knowing Who I Am

Catherine - Rapid City, South Dakota
Entered on May 3, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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.

Everyone has a driving point in their life; whether it’s to run hard in track, get straight A’s, or obey their parents 24/7. I believe that life is not trying to compare myself to others or try to be like them, but be the best Catherine I can be. This isn’t always an easy thing to do, because we compare ourselves to others everyday; but there was a point in my life that I knew that if I kept comparing myself to my friends, I would be very disappointed later on in my life.

I’ve always had problems with comparing myself with other people. I complained to my parents that we didn’t have as much money as some of my friends and what we could do with it if we had more. I felt bad and my conscience was screaming at me, but I kept at it. I was also never allowed to wear makeup like a movie star could, which bugged me. My friends all wore makeup and I was always jealous. I think I was more jealous of them because they always seemed to get what they wanted-not just because they wore makeup, or had the coolest clothes or could even see R rated movies. I was just jealous because they were who I wanted to be.

Then, it was all I started doing- I just compared myself to others.. Soon it didn’t matter if I thought those shorts were cute, it mattered what my friends thought. I didn’t care if I hated the way my hair looked if my friends thought it was ok. Even if I knew I wasn’t allowed to watch a certain movie or TV show, I thought about watching it if my friends were. I started to feel like a puppet Pinocchio trying to fit in with his new friends at Pleasure Island. All of a sudden my life wasn’t mine anymore; it was my life the way my friends wanted me to live it.

Not only did I lose my confidence in how I looked or acted, it happened with my achievements too. If I got an A on a math test, my friends would get A+’s. If I was on the high honor role for school, they would be on the very high honor role. I almost looked at my life as a type of competition; one that was between me and my friends. It wore me down acting like this.

I didn’t like who I was anymore, and I was dead tired of acting this way. I never talked to my parents about my problem; I thought that they would never understand. I felt like I could never be myself because I didn’t like who I was, and what I was becoming. Then, I remembered that God loves me; He wants me to be happy. He doesn’t want me to not fulfill what He has to become of me. I changed; I saw the brighter side of life again because I didn’t want to reject God, and what he wants me to become. I knew that if I kept going in the wrong direction, I wouldn’t be able to turn around and come back.

I started to change, because I knew time would wait for me to turn around. After I changed, life became easier. I began not to worry what my friends thought of me, but what I thought of myself. I still have troubles with finding out who I am, but I know that with love and confidence from God, I can be who I really am…Catherine Gibbens.