Acceptance and Cheese

November 16, 2016
By , Cupertino, CA

I have always known what I want to have when I grow up.
Not to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer, or even a movie star. I'll give you a sampling of answers throughout my childhood.
Age 5: "Money"
Age 7: "I want to be rich"
Age 10: "I want to be financially stable"
Age 13: "I want to buy the finest cheeses in France"
OK, maybe I was being silly that day. Maybe I was fooling around. But that sentence, and all the others before it, held a deeper, darker truth. Money doesn't tempt me. No, I want that tugging in my heart. That wonderful, blissful feeling you get. But I can't admit it to anyone, and neither can you.
You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Because we've all experienced it. We've all craved it. So what is it?
I want acceptance from my siblings, who I feel I can never please. From those friend groups, that I shouldn't want to be in, but still so do. From my parents. From my teachers. From my classmates. From every single person in my life.
The need for it haunts me wherever I go. Others are always judging me, and I am guilty of judging them too. Every word, every action, every smile or frown is meant to please. I say words that are not mine. I do things I can't believe myself for. And I stay up at night, dreading the challenge of tomorrow. I must never slip up in this world.
I wish I can say I am one of those people who doesn't care about other's feelings. That I can stride through every day without those burning eyes always trained on me. That I can finally express what I like, not tailor my opinions to everyone else's.
But I cannot. So I will judge you, and you will judge me.

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