The Person I Am Perceived To Be

The Person I Am Perceived To Be

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The Person I Am Perceived To Be

Walking into a room full of people I have known all of my life, I find
myself feeling lost. Growing up in a small private school I was very
sheltered as a child. It wasn't until high school when I realized what
the world really is. When I walk into my church now I am seen as
someone completely different then who I have become.

When I used to enter the room I was greeted by fake smiles sand polite
hellos. I was looked at as the rebel and the outcast who's mother just
so happened to be one of the most like people around. I started at a
public school my freshman year. I made new friends and slowly started
to break away from the only group that I had know my entire childhood.
My new friends didn't know every little thing about me so that gave me
a chance to start over and become whoever I wanted to be.

I started dressing differently: My shorts got a little shorter and my
shirts got a little tighter. My entire wardrobe was changed in a
matter of months. As the friends that I had known watched from a
distance my whole world was being turned up-side-down. To my new
friends I was Charlie, the cool, a little shy girl that was new
around. To everyone else I was just another young teenager that was
going down the path to destruction.

Around my Sophomore year I got into drinking and smoking cigarettes.
This just drove my friends farther and farther away. On the occasion
that I went to church they would still all sit by me buy I still felt
so unconnected to them. As you grow up though you start to realize who
your true friends are. I started to notice how my heart would cringe a
little when I would hear them all talking about how they were going to
go to the beach that day and then they would turn and walk away. I was
never invited to anything and more and slowly that started to get to

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me. I missed who I used to be. I missed being the good girl that
everyone liked. I didn't know who I had become anymore. I was a joke
to myself, I was trying to make myself believe that I was someone that
I was not. Eventually it came down to what made me happy. Sure, the
drinking was fun until the next morning, but then who was there when
you needed to feel better? No one.

I had to grow up really fast my last couple of years in high school.
Dealing with personal problems and the loss of a dear friend to a car
accident about drove me over the edge. That was when I really decided
to straighten up. Life is too short to go around not being happy. I
turned to my church friends for comfort and there were always there
for me. After all of the time I had spent away from them they welcomed
me back with open arms. I appreciate nothing more in life then the
caring compassionate hearts of my friends. It took me realizing that I
was fooling myself into thinking that I was happy to make me truly
happy.

Not everyone can realize this though. Even though I am back in church
on a regular basis, the people that I do not talk to on a personal
level still look down on me. I have to hide my belly button ring when
I walk in because my mother is afraid of me being scrutinized. I guess
it all comes down to a matter of perception. The friends that I had
known my entire life knew that no matter what little rebellious fling
I went through I would always still be who they knew I was. The rest
of the world judges me on a outward appearance or from first
impressions. The only thing that matters though is that I am true to
myself. People can perceive me whoever they want to, but that will
never change who I really am.
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