The Things I Am Not

May 3, 2010

There are people in the world who remind you only of what you are incapable of accomplishing. There are those who would bid you no self-confidence, nor esteem. There are men and women whose one goal in life is to shoot you down, break you and beat you, raze your towers and burn your bridges. There are those that would cause you pain and suffering for pleasure or satisfaction and they are everywhere. Their members are close and many and wherever you may live, they will live also. I know them, many of them and they tell me of the things I am not.

I am not tall and imposing, nor strong and athletic, nor striking and fierce. I am not driven and self-motivated, nor confident and unflappable, nor sensible and realistic. I’m not assertive or perfect or “special” (so cliché) or even brilliant. There are many things I’m incapable of and I don’t dispute that fact. I know that they’re right about my deficiencies and my poor traits and though I sometimes wish that their words were pure deceit and lies, I know that they tend to hold true. But I also know that their judgments lack depth and reason and meaning. I realize that there are many things I am not, but they forget those random and sometimes awful things and people that I am so proud of not being.
I’m not a self-made, wannabe misfit. Yeah, you know the ones that hang around in the commons decked out in black clothes and rainbow shoelaces, their hair falling out in chunks and their limbs grimy from not washing everyday and the layers and layers of permanent marker “artwork”. I’m not those people that dress themselves in scarlet duct tape, acting as advocates of the gay/lesbian/transsexual community that are truly making a mockery of the entire Day of Silence with their outlandish and overbearing methods of support. I’m not “that girl” who gets kicked out of class ON PURPOSE for cursing at her instructor and making obscene gestures, the girl that blares what she knows isn’t music in the halls, that girl that leaves pictures of naked men on the floors of the school. I’m not her or them and I am proud.

I’m also not the girl shaking and red in the face because the drug dogs are searching the student lot, the one that sweats and calls her mom to pull her out of class as she sits waiting for her name to be called over the intercom. There’s that girl who never speaks, never looks around, never shows a smile, but always cries when she thinks no one is looking and I am also not that girl. Nor am I the lass with the open legs, not the one that smokes in the bathroom and drinks on the weekends and skinny-dips with her cousins.

There are a lot of things, a lot of girls that I am not, and you know, that really isn’t such a bad thing. I don’t hide behind walls of magazine collages, behind locked doors of makeup and shame, beneath unsteady waters and popular not-friends. I am all me and all blunt truth and all laziness and procrastination. I’m all curves and frizzy hair and unheard-of dreams and books and stories and life. I’m all actress, all straightedge, all writer-reader-thinker-texter-girlfriend-tree-climber-adventurer-story-teller-poet. Hell, what do I have to be ashamed of? I am who I want to be and though there are things I’m not and won’t ever be, I don’t care what the people say. I love me for me and for the people who love me. It’s the best I can do for now, and I can only become better with time.

The author's comments:
Personal Essay, blah blah blah. I hope to let people know that it's ok to be imperfect, but better still to strive for improvement and self-actualization.

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