Lost And Found

Benita Orie, Staff Writer

I always wanted to be like everyone else. Wanting to fit in with the crowd made me join in on the drone-like world I saw around me growing up. No one ever stopped me. In fact they encouraged me to continue being the good little girl I was. I never got the chance to be me and find myself. My inner beauty or whatever you want to call it.

Something was missing from my life.

I grew up watching shows where perfect figures would pop up on the screen and I would gaze with my mouth open wishing I could be them. Fashion became my outlet, just like every other girl. I delighted in the joy of singing. Just like every other girl. And I couldn’t pinpoint my difference. The one thing that set me apart from everybody: my spunk as some would like to call it. I kept on, not realizing that I would grow up to be just like every other girl.

I realized this would shape my story, my likelihood to conform to the ways of the world. My story would be dry and boring as ever. I wouldn’t have a twist to my story, a sudden falling action, a great and final piece to my puzzle. But then, I didn’t want that.

But now would it have been so bad?

I followed the rules, stayed in line, kept to myself and never picked fights. I’m not saying I wanted the reverse, but would it have been so bad if I did things with a bit of flare? Then, yes, because I had to to act a specific way. From the way I dress to the way I walked.

However, it was no longer anyone making me do it, but now it was me making me do it. I had to look flawless before I left the house, and I tried to hard to make friends. It became a natural instinct to be conscious of what everyone around thought of me. I always wanted to know if people were gossiping about me. It became a shock to people how well of dresser I was. I could tell from the minute I stepped into high school. Questions of self worth flooded my head as i wondered why I didn’t make many friends when I was younger. People don’t want to associate with others who are just like them.

My dad always told me, in reference to my academics, to never relax with the crowd. Do something to rise above and beyond. I guess I can apply that concept not only to academics.

With all said and done, I’ve witnessed a difference. I’m can attest to the fact that I’m a bit more carefree. I still follow the rules, stay in line and never backtalk teachers. But I do things with a hint of flare. I step out of my comfort zone and try new things all while shutting down the negative thoughts that arise in my head of not everyone liking me. Thoughts of not being able to belong. Thoughts of not making and keeping friends. Maybe I don’t have to belong. I know I don’t have to belong. I need to embrace my own difference that singles me out. The difference people can remember me by, and that won’t happen by trying to be like everyone else. That’s just not me, and I need to start being me.

I’ve finally found what I am looking for, and let’s just say I’m never opening the door to conformity again.

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