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All Wrapped Up

By , Newburyport, MA
Life can be compared to one big Christmas present. Wrapped all neatly under the tree, the lights dancing off the paper, the possibilities of what’s inside are endless. It could be that new baseball bat you wanted or the Barbie Dream House you’ve been staring at in the Toys R Us magazine for months. You go over and examine the shape more closely and realize it’s too big to be a bat. You shake it and it’s heavy, really heavy, but you don’t hear the rattle of little pieces bouncing around so that makes you doubt it’s the Dream House.
Your curiosity is killing you and you beg and beg your parents for just one little hint of what it is. You just want to know the first letter of it, or the store it was bought from, something, anything to aid you in discovering what it is. They won’t budge one bit, so one day when they’re upstairs you slide your finger under the tape at the seam hoping to get a glimpse. Your mom has double wrapped it knowing you’d try and peak.
In a moment of desperation you decide to rip the smallest corner of the paper instead. It’s a manila cardboard box. You rip just the slightest bit more and see the letter “M”. You quickly place the present back under the tree and make sure the rip is hidden from view. What on earth did you ask for that began with an “M”? Your mind goes blank and you have no idea. This question haunts you for the next few days until finally its Christmas morning. You were so excited that you didn’t sleep at all and you force your family out of bed at 4 A.M. You pound down the stairs and run straight for the gift that’s been taunting you.
Finally when your dad groggily emerges from the stairs, you begin opening the gift by yanking the bow off and ripping the wrapping paper off in a rage of anticipation. With every tear in the paper you become closer and closer to finally finding out what it is. With the paper lying in a heap on the floor you look down and see it’s a box for a mirror. This can’t be right you didn’t ask for a mirror. You look up and see the excitement on your mom’s face and pretend to love it.
After opening all your other gifts your dad helps you assemble the mirror in your room. You may not have asked for it but it is actually pretty nice, it’s white and sort of reminds you of a mirror a princess would have. You say thanks and head back downstairs to play with your more exciting gifts. Ten years later and you realize how much you underappreciated the gift. Since you received the mirror there weren’t too many days that went by that you didn’t look at yourself in it. You grew up in front of that mirror. You remember the time you spent an hour in front of it trying to hide that giant zit and looking at yourself in it last year before prom and not even recognizing yourself.
When we’re born the possibilities of who we are going to be are endless. I used to dream of being a princess and an astronaut. As I grew older and experiences gave me “sneak peaks” into my soul I realized neither one of these paths were for me. With each passing year there began to be less and less possibilities as I learned more and more about myself. I realized I loved to laugh, I enjoyed math, and I hated scary movies. I’m still in the process of “unwrapping” my identity, but I know whether or not it’s what I want to be, I’m going to appreciate it nonetheless and make the best of it.





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