Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

100 Different People This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I am a hundred different people. Each trying to be something they are not, each reaching to achieve a goal that someone else has set, each waiting to be called upon by others. Every “character” I play is woven intricately, made of tiny bits of truth mixed with many white lies. There is one thing that remains, through all the people I pretend to be, they are all addicts. Addicts to a drug that many people don’t even know exist. People pleasing.

People pleasing is a drug, a fire, that rips through the veins, burning to ash all semblance of self and replacing it with the desire to be what others want. It numbs all thought except the drumming question pounding in my skull like a chorus of tiny drums. Repeating over and over, You’re not what they want. You’re not good enough. And so I create. I create someone else, someone who fits the image of the person they want.

With some, I am a soap bubble resting on a blade of grass. I am a delicate beauty that cannot be touched. I stand to the side, smiling at all who pass, never engaging, only watching.

With others I am steel toed boots. I am worn leather from years of sadness stretched of an iron hard heart of stone. I am all heat and anger, with no substance or reason.

And with others, I am vinyl records and free trade coffee. Rejecting the very thought of conformity to the masses. All the while I am conforming to the idea of non-conformity.

And with others still I am a mirror. Reflecting back perfectly the image of perfection I am presented with. I never question the reason. I simply blend in with the masses, reflecting back a perfect façade of happiness.

And with him, oh with him, I was stacks of books and patchwork quilts. I was a dreamer. With pictures of Paris stuck to my wall and poems of love stuck on my lips. I was unique. I was the same. I was happy.

Yet I am none of these people. They whirl and spin inside my head, reminding me that in my quest to become what they wanted, I lost what I was. Now I am simply empty. I am a plastic bag tumbleweed rolling aimlessly across an empty grocery store parking lot. There is no depth to me because I lost it to the freedom of choice. The freedom to choose to be anything I wanted. I have long lost the girl with big eyes and a bigger heart; the girl whose first instinct was to heal the broken and whose soul sang a constant lament for the lost. I have long lost the girl whose heart was fragile enough to feel all the pain in the world, but whose shoulders were strong enough to bear it.

I am a hundred different people. Each trying to be something they are not, each reaching to achieve a goal that someone else has set, each waiting to be called upon by others. I can be a million different people, but none of them me. I have been lost, drowning in a sea of “of course I love that band” and “We are so alike”. Not realizing that to save myself all I must do is take a stand.



Join the Discussion


This article has 8 comments. Post your own!

NiyarooThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 7:41 am:
I like this a lot. This is the best piece ive read on this site ;)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
TeamThespian said...
Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:21 am:
This is an amazing piece of work. I enjoyed the metaphorical aspect that you put into this piece and the vocabulary that you used to make it more relatable to the reader. One of my favorite pieces on TeenInk. 
 
Literature_Darling replied...
Apr. 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm :
Thank you so very much! I really appreciate it!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Laugh-it-OutThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm:
I agree with dagnytaggart! This is so relatable and real! Amazing job b/c I no exactly what u mean! This was great 5/5 stars
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
dagnytaggartThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm:
I feel like you tore a page out of my diary. Beautifully written, and very relatable. Overall, an absolutely brilliant piece of writing. This is going in my favorites!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
jetta.ckThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm:
Perfection. I love the depth, and it really reminded me of Every Day by David Levithan. Your writing did get progressively stronger, but it's much better than becoming slowly worse and not having a great ending. You had that; forget that, you had everything! I really, really loved this. Fantastic use of adjectives.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
carolinestarr said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm:
conjunctions*
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
carolinestarr said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm:
This was very good! I noticed that your writing got stronger toward the end of the piece. In the first couple paragraphs, watch your grammar. There are a few minor mistakes, so just check mmore carefully next time. Occasionally, you were a tad repetitive, such as in the sentence "It numbs all thought except the drumming question pounding in my skull like a chorus of tiny drums". My general rule is to no use the same word or same variation of a word (excluding pronouns and conunctions a... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback