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Who She Is This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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She prefers to wake up to clouds, with heavy rainslamming against her windows, and the sky forbidding any light to cascade throughthe blinds. The sound and the smell coming through the open windows give her asense of life. Although sleep still drips from her eyes, the girl feels moreawake than ever.

When she sleeps, she dreams, but when she is awake, hermind is exposed to daytime thoughts, where, unlike the night, she can't help butfollow the lines she writes in the air. She ends up retiring to the necessaryrationalization that everything will be fine and turns on the radio. She smilesas the rhythms filter energy into her subconscious.

She's not one to sitby the phone, or check her email more than once a day, if at all. There is notelevision in this girl's room, only a radio and 1,200 CDs, expanding from thelaid-back vocals of Frank Sinatra and smooth licks of Duke Ellington, through theera of '70s rock, to '90s punk, ska, and emo. Music feeds her soul. It's likeoxygen; she couldn't live without it.

She is constantly around people whoinfect her with good influence. Learning from their experiences helps her walkher own path. They show her what the important things in life are, and how justthe simple, little things can hold the greatest happinesses.

The girl is atrophy case of diversity. She is a rebel who follows the rules. She dresses tosuit the most conservative of preps, but covers her back pack with patches andpins. She can be a girlie cheerleader and giggle with the best of them, yetretains an alto voice and has a laid-back, genuine laugh. She wears makeup, butis never caught with one speck of glitter.

The thousands of teen suicidesevery year outrage her, believing they could have been prevented if friends andfamily had been more observant, yet is silenced with the tears of her friends, aswell as her own, when her 17-year-old friend falls victim. She advocates peace ina time of hostility, for her father served in Vietnam. She has been to theVietnam Memorial and read The Things They Carried, but still cannot bring herselfto watch "Saving Private Ryan."

She is proud to be anAmerican girl, as well as a first-generation Austrian who visits Europe. She wastaught to play classical piano, but can swing eighths in every time signature.She is the drum major of her high-school marching band, and frequents theunderground music scene. This girl was once told she projects beauty and bleedspunk rock. This was the best compliment of her life.

She has been toldthere is magic about her. Her ability to be as outspoken as she wants to show shehas no fear. When the opportunity arises where she can express how strongly shefeels about current issues, words are water and flow from her mind in a steadystream of well-controlled judgment.

Her independence at first creates anintimidating air to most, but they soon realize she is just as good a listener asshe is a speaker when the tables are turned. If something new is proposed, she isalways difficult, never the first to give in, and questions everything, believingthat skepticism is the first step to truth, and truth fears no questions. She isnot one to be misled.

The girl never counts the yellow lines on theroad of life, but keeps focused on what it may bring. She won't stand beingsecond, so when life hands her a tough situation, she strives to conquer it. Sheknows she can't fly. She's not that naive, but she's more than a bird, more thana plane. She has a strong will and can break an enemy's resistance withoutfighting.

When the sun begins to creep high and she readies herself forthe day, she never lets her personality falter. She enjoys herself and who sheis, and if someone doesn't like it, they are just going to have to deal. Thisgirl changes for no one.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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