Diversity - can it be defined? Shouldn’t every person be a living example of it? I am as different as night and day. I am probably the only Mexican in existence who dislikes Mexican food. My main contradiction, though, is my personality and my love for theater.
I am a Dallasite through and through. From going to private school to shopping at Marcus to driving a BMW, I am the embodiment of a teenager living a privileged life. There is a side of me, however, that goes much deeper - a more artistic side. Though my body may be devoted to the prep lifestyle, my soul has one passion - theater.
I have always felt comfortable on stage. It’s actually more than comfort, it’s a sense of belonging. Acting is the essence of my being and I often use my craft to define myself. Yet, how can I explain to my friends the beauty of a Shakespearean couplet when the only rhymes they care about are in the latest hip-hop hit?
Here I find myself at the ultimate contradiction: the theater kid who conforms to the expectations of her seemingly homogeneous friends. But as the boisterous theater kid, I am unable to be stifled even by my best friends. Through my own diversity, I have overcome this obstacle. I embrace my individuality around my friends and believe that it is because of this that they love me as they do. Instead of listening to rap, I hum tunes from “Rent” in school and randomly quote Shakespeare during car rides or dinner parties.
This path to individuality has not been easy. I was not always accepted for my theatrical tendencies. In fact, I lost many a friend because I am, well, a drama queen. Also, my life is not filled with others who, like me, love the spotlight (an actual spotlight, that is) and the Bard. Yet, in high school I began to find a few like me - three. But this was all I needed. Once I found this small group, I could easily go back to my other friends feeling more comfortable in my own skin.
Thus, all my contradictions (my inability to memorize chemical equations while easily learning lines of Shakespeare), are what make me quirky. I’m the loud theater freak whose friends are quiet and non-confrontational. I’m that actress who spends time with girls “who lunch.” But most important, I am myself.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.