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All the World’s a Stage…

By , Melbourne, Australia
The severity of my alternate personalities first occurred to me when I accepted the scholarship to my third boarding school. The major difference in changing schools this time as opposed to all the other times is that my cousin Declan also attends my future school. Declan and I have never had mutual friends at home and as we’ve both been going to different schools across the country this is the only time we’ve seen each other. As a result of this, when my friend Steph asked me if Declan and I were in the same type of friendship group, I couldn’t answer.

All the world’s a stage and we are just actors, adapting to changing scenes. I can be daddy’s little girl, captain of the drama team, a major party animal, or a queen b****. I feel like it’s ok to be different around different people and different situations, but it’s the fact that I hide parts of myself that’s has suddenly become an issue.

If someone were to ask Declan about his mysterious cousin who would soon be joining him, I wonder what he’d say. I envision him telling them about how innocent and good I am. How I was the only person he knows who doesn’t go to parties even when I’m invited; how I do all the laundry and clean up after everyone without being asked; how I’m a straight ‘A’ student who couldn’t be cool if I tried because I’m such a geek that all I do is study all day. I’m not saying he doesn’t know me, I’m saying his idea of me is limited by our relationship.

I imagine it will come as a shock when I arrive and he realises that I’m not the perfect girl he thinks I am. I know of friends of friends who attend my future school, and from what I hear they already know about me. I’m not saying I’m the biggest party animal or the coolest kid, I have fun. I’m not the type of person to spend hours slaving over books like he thinks; I’m more of a 15-minute revision before I big test kind of gal. He sees me differently.

The truth is, I know that the same must apply for him. We all act differently when the scene changes. Is it that we’re afraid that showing someone the real you – a combination of all your alternate personalities – breaches some kind of unspoken rule? Evolution tells us that the species that can camouflage themselves the best, is the species that survives. So, are we just animals? Afraid of our friends, our world, and ourselves. The stage is ever changing, and we just change with it.





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