A Long Look in the Mirror

Posted on May 31, 2012


The journey of finding yourself is full of long and confusing paths. You will think you really know who you are one day, but then discover you’re a whole different person a different day. You start to worry that people won’t like who “you” are so then you start to get lost trying to be something you’re not, you just try to be liked. What we don’t realize is that everybody goes through this, we feel so alone and think every person we look at has it all figured out, but the truth is that they are looking

right back at us and thinking the exact same thing. We don’t just struggle with this when we’re in school; we have trouble finding ourselves throughout our whole life. But high school and college are the place to figure this out. In college you are truly free for the first time; you choose the classes you take and what you want to major in. There is no hierarchy, there are no cliques, everyone is just themselves and they have no problem with whoever you want to be. This is not always true but it is a lot more accepting than high school.  Be careful though, you never want to be identified by the people you surround yourself with. It’s annoying but you can’t stop it from happening. If you hang out with kids who are dealing drugs or gang affiliated then not only do kids, your parents and other people just see you as the group you hang out with, but also cops. So be wise and don’t let other people define who you are, find different ways to show who you really are and who you want to be. If you do find yourself in a social class, define the social class don’t let it define you. Also know who your true friends are who are just your school friends or peers.

The fact that hate crimes continue to happen is so saddening and also aggravating at the same time. Something is very wrong with a place when people are committing suicide because their tormented for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Eric James Borges, Jamey Rodemeyer, Rafael Morelos, Jamie Hubley, Phillip Parker, all over the world from Canada to California, New York, Tennessee, they were all either bullied at school or not welcomed in their own home. All of them killed themselves in the past year. They felt so unaccepted that they took their own lives, this has to stop. Eric James Borges was a filmmaker from California. His film “It Gets Better” gave a voice to so many who were quiet before, it gave them hope to stand strong and be themselves. Eric’s parents were extreme Christians who thought Eric need to be “cured” because he was gay. Eventually they performed an exorcism on him as if he had some kind of demon in him.

This only drove Eric farther into depression and brought back the thought of suicide. When Eric was still gay after the exorcism, his parents kicked him out of the house. If someone can’t even feel welcome in their own home where are they supposed to go? Eric took his own life on January 14, 2011. His suicide not read “My pain is not caused because I am gay, My pain was caused by how I was treated because I am gay. To my friends you gave me life and love; never think this was your fault.”

Just what is the definition of finding yourself? How do you know when you’ve found yourself? How do you find yourself? Some people think they can find themselves in money and a high paying job, but they’re wrong. You discover who you are by looking inside yourself, in your heart, and find the things you love, and the people and the places you love. This may sound cheesy but it’s the truth. Keep asking yourself questions, any question you can think of. The more questions you ask the more answers you’ll get and you’ll know more about yourself. Be true to yourself, say what you want to say, do what you feel like doing, know what people expect from you but put what you expect from yourself first. Don’t get finding yourself mixed up with finding your self-esteem. They are two different things, but if you figure out one then you can definitely figure out the other. Low self-esteem and disappointment within yourself can cause you to get lost and disgruntled. So don’t let yourself down, take a chance and step out to the world and face it head on. Don’t hold on to your, failures leave them in the past, just remember them and learn from your mistakes. And if something doesn’t go the way you want don’t let that stop you, look for new ways to try things and just look for new things to try. You can find yourself in music and art, not just making music or being an artist, the music you love to listen to, the movies you love to watch, even the clothes you wear. Some people also find themselves in religion, but not everybody. These are all ways to show who you are, you just have to be brave enough to show it.

Express yourself. You know how you feel so show it! Don’t stay bottled up. If you don’t like something or someone than say it! Just don’t be rude about it. Learn to say no to things you don’t want to do or feel comfortable doing. Nobody will know how you feel if you don’t tell them, mind readers aren’t real. When you find your voice you find confidence in yourself. In that confidence learn to be happy with yourself and to love yourself. Also accept the fact that not everybody is going think you’re the coolest person in the world. Some people might hate you, sorry to say it but it’s the truth.

Media and peer pressure can have their influence; kids get worried that their friends and classmates won’t like them for who they really are so they turn themselves into something they’re not. They think of someone who everybody loves and thinks is the coolest, like a famous musician or an actor, and then they try to be that person. And as we all know these rock stars and celebrities live crazy drug filled life styles. On the subject of drugs and celebrities, Kurt Cobain struggled with this himself. He once said, “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” and that “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”.

So if even the rich and famous are having trouble with their self-esteem and their image too, it’s ok for you to go through the same thing.  Finding one’s self, one’s “Identity”, is as sloppy and all over the place as this article. It’s all one big mess, it’s scrambled. So don’t worry when your lost, take your time and put the pieces together.

High School can be hard, you may feel like it will never get better but don’t worry it will. This is just life; no one said it would be easy.

Posted in: Kaleb S