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Time twists everything into sudden awareness. Sitting alone, as life revolves around me, I find a longing to be a part of it. The seemingly roaring call of the ocean seems vast and large, like the world around me. It twists and turns in front of my eyes as I sit and think. The intricacies of past memories wrapping their longing fingers around me, seem to strangle. I’m gasping for air, for life, for my future.
Throughout high school I was picked on, shoved aside like a figment of someone’s imagination. Not until recently had I found my place through someone of small proportions. I turned the pages of my mind over to that time, that day. As I stumbled clumsily through the thickening crowds of the ongoing mass, I kept my eyes downward, my long mane of red curls tousling forward like a ball of fire. I had no inkling of where I was going; my legs just kept pacing in time with my pounding heart. A man shoved past me, almost mauling me over. He didn’t even look back at me, this fragile, small, delicate form of a girl. I felt like I was a discarded porcelain doll.
I came to a park where little children played happily. Teenagers drove past laughing with genuine smiles on their faces. Tears swelled to the surface of my eyes. How I wanted to feel like I belonged, like I was free from the chains that held me sad in their grasps. I felt worthless, seemingly unreal. I looked up wiping away the visible remains of my waterfall. My eyes zoomed around to see if anyone was watching me. Instead of turning and walking away, I locked my eyes onto a little girl who was sitting all alone. My mind flashed back to when I was once that little girl, alone, desperate, and stranded. Something kept me from moving. A faint hope and connection to the little girl seemed to pull me toward her. My sneakers touched the green, unfurling tapestry of grass. I inhaled and exhaled deeply as I got closer to her. I finally came upon the girl on the faded, weather-worn bench. The girls blonde hair, straight like a razor, flew out, jumbling it together. “Can I … um… sit here?” I asked surprised that I was nervous. She shook her head “yes” and wiped her red, puffy eyes. For awhile we both just sat there in utter silence that seemed to consume us.
“What’s your name?” I asked, breaking the stillness. I hurriedly glanced down to catch her reaction.
“Jenny,” she whispered hesitantly back at me. I watched her as her eyes looked onto the scene that played out before us. I could feel her want to be a part of it all, to be a part of their fun. She wanted to feel special, like someone important too.
“Why are you over here?” I asked her, curious to know why she was the outcast
“I …” she stuttered. “I don’t talk well, and I… I tripped a lot today, no one wants to play with me,” Jenny said, while tears billowed out, cascading down her rosy cheeks.
“Jenny…” I started, wanting so much to help her. “Everyone’s different; no one is alike. You know what? I trip all the time too; and I can’t talk very well either. You’re beautiful though. Did you know you have gorgeous eyes, a sweet smile, and I bet you’re nice and funny too.” I watched her as her face took on a new light as she listened to me.
“I can draw good pictures too,” Jenny said, sitting up proudly with a smile.
“See, you are great and special. No one else can be Jenny. So go play. Don’t let what the other kids say or do hurt you. I think you’re important.”
In that instant I felt and realized something—my potential. The little girl looked up at me and smiled, happier than before.
“Go,” I said, motioning for her to go. She ran off and I watched as she found herself again, happy and care-free. As I walked away that day I knew I’d been the only thing holding myself down, no one else.
I zone back to the present, and look out to the sandy beach and rolling waves in front of me and my house. I get up and race as fast as I can down to the beach as the sun sets: I am finally free, I can spread my wings and make the best of my future. Because of Jenny, I know that everyone’s important and special, even me! I do have something to offer this world; and I can’t wait to do it.