Renee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I bet she doesn't shop at theGap. I bet she doesn't even know what the Gap is. I mean, come on, she has brightpink hair. I didn't even know her name, I just looked at her round 5' 3" bodythat resembled an Oompa Loompa. I was soon to learn, however, that this girl withthe pink hair and the 1950's framed glasses would teach me more about myself thanany teacher, family member or friend ever had.

The summer after mysophomore year, I went to camp. Within the first half hour, I spotted Ren,dressed in long jeans and a sweatshirt that read Alkaline Trio (which I laterfound out was a band). I quickly looked her over and retreated to my cabin. Itwas by chance that we started up a conversation. I believe that everythinghappens for a reason, and in a matter of days we became inseparable. It wasn'tlong before our relationship forced me to evaluate my own character.

Reneeinfluenced how I look at myself and especially the way I look at other people. Irealized that I had written off Renee even before she introduced herself. On thatfirst day I had thought, Who is this girl? I could never be friends with someonewho looks like that. In my town, everyone is the same - we all shop atAbercrombie and American Eagle and listen to Dave Matthews. There are fewexceptions; basically, we are narrow-minded. I guess you could say I was aproduct of my environment since on that first day of camp I immediately gatheredwith girls who seemed to be the kind of people I wanted as friends.

Looking back, I realized that I had been writing off people left and right justbecause of the way they looked. Renee is unlike anyone I have ever met. It isscary to think that my narrow-mindedness could prevent me from experiencing thebest things life has to offer, or even from meeting people as incredible asRenee.

Our friendship has inspired me to be me. She wore her punk-rockclothing with confidence and made sure her voice was heard. I want to be morelike her. I want to speak my mind and show my true colors. The most importantthing in life is how we treat people.

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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BitterSweet1993 said...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Amazing! <3 Doesn't it feel great to feel invigorated about yourself..?
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