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I Don't Need Opinions Anymore
Sometimes, when I see old pictures of myself in scrapbooks or newspaper clippings, I remember the time when I looked allot different than what I do now. Even though I was just a toddler then, I remember when my hair was red.
When I was in primary school, I saw kids who were dressed more fashionably than me, read less than me, or were taller than me. Sometimes shorter than me, but mostly taller. I thought of myself as small, minuscule, and something that no one should pay attention too. But, my character would come out of me, sometimes when I didn't welcome it's presence.
I remember an instance when I would eat apples all the time. I would either have my mother cut them up before school for me to eat, but after my mom and dad got divorced, I would just bring a whole apple to school and eat it during snack time. No peanut butter, no caramel. Just a nice red apple, ready for me to eat. But, with cut up apple slices, they begin to oxygenate and turn the flesh light brown. That's when the teasing started.
*Why are you eating rotten apples?*
I would find this intriguing. Rotten? Never would I eat bad apples! Ever!
*I'm not. It's because it's been in the bag since this morning so-*
*Ha! You eat rotten apples! You eat rotten apples!*
No matter how many times I tried to tell them that was untrue, it still continued. Now on the playground, kids avoided me. On the teeter totter, there would be no one on the end, or, they would all be full, or they were being *saved* by someone. So, I would spend my recess' alone, either on the jungle gym or on the wooden play set, that I called *Old Rusty*. Old Rusty, in my head, was made fun of too, because his wood was moldy looking and the chains that held the bridge to his body were rusted. They would creak under a child's weight.
But, if I were lucky, some kids would allow me to play a game with them. But, I wasn't the best athlete, so I would just weigh them down. I would often miss out on games like tag, because they didn't want me there. It was upsetting.
As I grew up, out of primary school, I saw that in the third grade all of the popular girls had blond hair either in straight waves or curls. I wanted that! So, I got my hair high-lighted, and my red hair was gone. It was now brighter, also more cheerful looking. But, I still didn't fit in. I was in a house full of one adult male, and two older brothers, so I didn't know the first thing about hairstyles or what was *hot* that season.
My hair was usually pulled back into a low ponytail on the nape of my neck. My dad didn't know much about shopping, so my school uniform became small. I had two shirts, one pair of pants, and one skirt that I rarely ever wore. I was a tomboy back then, so I didn't care much for girlie things. I had Barbie dolls, and nail polish, but to me that didn't matter. Friends mattered. So, I found a few who liked me the way I was, and lived it.
We would play kickball, sit on the swings, and try to outrun each other. A certain friend of mine I could never beat. He was always much faster than I was. I still haven't beat him, and it's been five years. But, even though I still tried to win the popular's affection with spelling bee trophies or new shoes, they didn't seem to approve. I would sit at tables all by myself, loathing the fact that people thought of me as a freak. And, that I lost the color of my hair to them.
I regret trying to win their affection by changing myself. I didn't want to alter my personality. But now, at my new school, there are people of different characters and attitudes that I can relate too. For the first time, I'm happy! And, even though my blond hair still stays, I am a new person. I want to be different and now the same as everyone else. I'm happy, and free, and I'm loving every second of it.
So, take it from me. Don't change who you are, even if you think it's for the better. Because one day, you'll miss your old self. I'm glad I got to finally say, rather write, my feelings out loud!