I believe everyone should create themselves the way they want to, block out everyone’s nagging opinions, and do what you feel is comfortable. It’s you living your life, not everyone else. My personal belief with this experience has been a struggle, I used to wear a mask for protection, if people didn’t know the true me, they couldn’t possibly know or hurt me as much, right? It can be tough being “who you are” when there are people judging but you realize ‘being content with yourself is more important than others being content with you.’

I know I think about things the way I do because, things that seem really scary could actually be something familiar, just with a different look. Likewise things that seem amazing could be completely different once the mask is torn off. Believe me, I know. Life is a confusing mess sometimes. People are not what they seem, and every now and then even a best friend might surprise you.

I believe what I do, because once a while ago I realized I wasn’t happy with a couple old friends, so I changed them (they weren’t really healthy for me), when I did that I realized I dressed like everyone else just to fit in, I stopped and reinvented my own look without any stereotype intact or in mind, when I wanted to stop going places because I got in trouble a lot for what my friends did, I learned to go to the library more like I used to and stay at home on Friday/Saturday nights (who cares what my ‘friends’ thought, I was enjoying myself and getting smarter). I learned that I couldn’t be everyone’s friend no matter how nice or charming I was. I also learned that I couldn’t make everyone happy; someone is bound to talk about me at one point or another, because no matter how good or how far you are in life someone always has something to say. The day that I came up with this realization was the day I came with many.

I find it very interesting how many people copy each other when in the end no one knows who they are to begin with. In middle school and some of high school I felt like a lot of people for the most part were clones because they all wanted to act with attitude wear ‘designer’ things to fit in and I didn’t want to be part of it anymore. Be who you are because you have to live with yourself. You can always walk away from everyone else but not yourself. So be who you are, that’s my belief.

I don’t mind being considered weird or quiet, I’m comfortably confident with myself, don’t do anything stupid, I have ambitions and I try my best to do what I got to do. I didn’t know any of that was a bad thing! So people can call me what they want, because that’s how they interpret me, not how I interpret myself.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Be Who You Are by Brianna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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