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Personal Thoughts Personal Experiences This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In growing up, everyone must change. For better or worse, it is up to the individual. This past year, I saw my friends change, and in a way, I was jealous of "the new Sue" or "the new Amy." Looking through The Enquirer one day, my eyes saw something that I immediately fell in love with - that I decided might just give me the self esteem I lacked.

January 2, 1991, several students showed up at school with new shoes or a new dress. Not me. Unlike all my friends, I came to school with an extra accessory penetrating my right nostril. The horrified looks, the false smiles, the awestruck teachers - nothing seemed to bother me, even with my sister's earring piercing my nose. Like an infant with its safety blanket, my "ear"ring carried me through the day with much needed self confidence.

"What did your parents say?" was the most common question I remember answering. To everyone, I said the same thing, "I am me. My nose isn't my parent's prized property. Although I just turned fifteen, my parents respected my (odd) wishes." Not to say that they weren't a little disappointed in their "once-was" conservative daughter, but they knew it was "just a phase" I was going through.

I wish I had gotten as much respect from my close friends. Just because I am not a clone, just because I have my own style, just because I went ahead and did it anyway, despite the rejection of my so-called "friends," doesn't mean I'm a bad person. After all the looks and the rank downs, I was surprised to still be standing. So why do I yearn to pierce my nose yet one more time? I have changed, in my opinion, for the better. I'm a little stronger and a little more courteous to people who live their lives as they wish.

I've never enjoyed being the center of attention, and in wearing my nose ring, I felt like I was stepping further away from the nucleus. I was alone in my pierced nose world, yet I was surrounded by inquisitive onlookers. Yes, for that feeling, I'd do it again. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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