I believe in Being Different

Margaret - Auke Bay, Alaska
Entered on May 7, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in being different. Meaning, I am going to do what I have a passion about.

In my hometown, my family is very well known, with my successful parents, and superstar athletic sisters. On Graduation day, I got my first solo picture in the paper talking about the past four years at my high school. It wasn’t a good picture either, my hands were in front of my face. While my sisters made the paper every weekend with basketball. Even after they moved onto college there would be an insert on their team. Pictures in newspapers don’t matter though. What mattered was following this “trilogy” and having the expectation to be exactly like my sisters. However, as I grew older, I realized I had different dreams.

Going into my sophomore year in high school, I signed up for choir and my first musical audition. As I went in to the cold air conditioned building with my number one supporter, my mother, the nerves began to kick in as I went to the bathroom twice before my audition, still having to go when I entered the small, audition room. As the piano began to play the introduction, I felt butterflies cringe in my stomach, my throat became dry, and the room seemed to grow about twenty degrees warmer. I came out of the room still having to go to the bathroom, but as a chorus member. I was so excited to be part of this musical, I hadn’t thought about how I would share the news to my father. My mother supported me with what I wanted to do, but my father would be harder to convince.

I don’t remember the whole conversation but, I remember it was not easy for my father to accept the fact that I was not like my sisters. I remember I could feel the disappointment and sorrow that filled his study like my sister missing the game winning shot at the buzzer. The only difference is that she would have an amazing picture in the paper the next day, while I had the next three years of feeling like I let my family down. But, it was time that I stood up for something I believed in.

For the past four years, I have believed in being different. It has been a struggle. My sister once told me that I need to believe in myself and then the family would follow. I have worked so hard to do just that, and one day, I will have support from my family. Being different has helped me build courage, a new community, and a new life. Despite what the critics may say, I have not let their voices bring me down. If I believe in something, I will go towards, no matter how high and strong the wall is in front of me.