If You Really Knew Me

June 22, 2011
By nluthra BRONZE, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois
nluthra BRONZE, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

It’s weird. Perhaps I am alone in noticing it the twisted irony of how the simplest acts of kindness in this universe’ coincidences manage to reach out to us at our moments of utmost desperation. Specifically I am talking about the effect my best friend’s words had on me yesterday, have I really lost my depth? Or am I hiding it? Wallowing in worry over losing my substance, feelings of emptiness overwhelmed me yesterday as I put my books and clothes and shoes in boxes. Maybe when we are at our all time lows, anything just can pick us up, seeming like a miracle in comparison to the darkness. However I can’t be alone in noticing this, because I am never alone. Feeling like there is no one else who has the same ideas as I do, the same emotions, the same struggles… I refuse to believe anymore, thanks to a recent TV marathon of the new MTV show “If You Really Knew Me.”

I refuse to believe that there isn’t one person on this earth, in my community, in my school, who’s real self follows their image. I refuse to believe that the 90% of themselves that people hide is impossible to reach out to, I refuse to believe that it’s impossible for us to break the 10% of themselves that they actually project. I refuse to follow the impression a person makes on me based off of their label, or their image. I’ve seemed to have found a new faith that everyone, regardless of any prior judgments I have made about them, has a part of them that, even though they hide, is more similar to my 90% of myself than different.

The human nature of all of us is universal; we all want to just be loved, to have a home, to feel secure with ourselves. I refuse to believe that even with today’s societal changes that force us to hide our feelings and our real selves, we cannot find a little sliver of hope in one another. There’s a thread that runs through the people who I keep closest to me, and I’m so lucky to have been able to weave together a safe healthy network for myself of people who make me feel. I know that they may not know the real me, and I know that I am not really sure if I do myself, but those people do at least reassure me that there IS a real me. That there is more that I want to do in this world than I may talk about.

There might come a time when I decide that it is okay again to make judgments off of people, but I know at least I have dug a little deeper into my 90% and found a sense of sympathy that will never go away after these few odd but monumental moments of watching “If you really knew me.” I think back now to all the people whom I have claimed have flaws, and who have done me wrong, and now I have this insight that I am able to see past them. There is so much more to Jay Faust than I ever could have imagined, what makes him the way he is? It doesn’t justify his actions, not at all. He’s made another person feel the way that I am afraid to feel. But now looking back I do realize that it was ignorant of me to be so sure of myself that there was nothing besides his face, and that he had no feelings, and he was empty on the inside. I was a b**** to him. Colin, I even knew with him that he had many problems, and I knew many of the reasons for why he was the way he was. I always ignored them and let my fury at him overpower any sympathy, a cold rock I thought he was. But, without seeing who he really was, I was just as bad as him. Who was I hiding as when I was telling other people that they were empty, cold, and emotionless? The best thing I can do for myself is try to be a better friend to everyone. I want to be a better person, what we say to people has much more of an impact on them than we even realize. I think about myself, every word that anyone says makes a difference in my life, I do take a lot to heart. Because I know that people are more similar than they are different, I know now that even those who have an image of nonchalant or indifferent- they get hurt too. I also know that sometimes being a better friend to a stranger can make the biggest difference in their lives.

And to be a better friend, I don’t need to follow my image either. A big part of my image is the problem fixer, to help everyone, but I don’t need to keep that. Because the real me, it’s much easier for me to just listen. The real me benefits from listening to others, and just holding their hand, I don’t need to take them on as my own problems. That’s just a part of my image. The real me is sympathetic, but I can be sympathetic without the pity. All people are equal. I know that as the real me, but then why as part of my image do I judge other people, people who have self-confidence issues themselves? I have a tendency to pick on the bullies, to pick on people who I think can fight back, and in this I tell myself that I am justified when I call the bullies stupid, or hollow, or fake. But it’s all excuses. I am just as low as them when I tell myself that I am better than others, because the real me knows that I am not. That I am a bully just as much as them if I think that I have the right to think I’m smarter, nicer, or a better more moral person than them. Because I am not.

I just want to be a better friend. If I do that, I know it will make a difference, because I have made a difference that way. I know people have told me in my rare moments of light and insight how much I have impacted their lives, and I want to become that person that they admire. The few people who do know the real me- I want to live up to that.

There’s no place like home. But to me, home isn’t becoming a place. It’s starting to become people, the people whom I can really just open up around, the people who understand me for myself. I don’t need them to give me advice or help. I just need to know that they are human, that our emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, and dreams are much more similar than they are different. Because we are in high school and the choices we make right now are going to shape up the people we become for the rest of our lives, and the people we become for the rest of our lives will impact those around us, more than we know. And this network and connectedness of our choices and words is silently calling for all of us to make a change in the system, to try to find our roots of our human nature as a whole, what separates us from any other species on this planet, that bit of sympathy and faith that keeps us going in the morning, knowing that we are not ever going to have to be alone.

The author's comments:
I was debating whether I should put this under reviews, but the revelation described in this piece is more of a personal reflection that I hope other teenagers who strive to impact other people and value human relation can relate to.

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