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Whittling

By , Silver Spring, MD
In the tenth grade, I designed and sewed a dinosaur suit. It made it’s debut at school, the day before Halloween. The halls were packed with sexy cats and naughty nurses, but I strode down the hall in a felt getup complete with a tail and spikes. I could pretend that no one stared, but I never cared. This may seem like a small blip in my lifetime of events, but really it is a perfect symbol of who I am. I have been carefully molded by some unique factors: I have a large family, I joined the School of Rock Music at thirteen, and I have Bipolar Disorder Type 2.

I was blessed with these rarities, even though I didn’t always think so. I grew up in a wonderful, large family. My father is Filipino, and my mother is Irish. Our unusual diversity means I grew up surrounded by loved ones with different accents, skin colors, and preferences. People were different. It was not a concept I had to be taught. I entered middle school being told I was exactly the way I was supposed to be. However, when I walked into class with homemade sock puppets on my arms and hand me down pants, I stopped believing that. Luckily, my parents signed me up for the School of Rock Music, which was jam packed with talented oddballs. With extensive practice and encouraging friends, I found the confidence to stand on a stage and wail.

I knew I was lucky to have those things, but in high school a new feature was slapped on me: Bipolar. I was angry, self conscious, but most of all embarrassed. For two years I blamed the world, and used my disorder as an excuse for apathy. Then little by little, I grew up. I realized it was part of me. There have been bad days, but I am optimistic that good days will come. I have learned how to empathize, and I discovered that I want to help people realize there differences make them powerful and perfect. Through all this whittling and sculpting, I became more than I ever hoped to be.





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