STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Identity: Define Me



Joined: 3/25/2013
Posts: 3
truthwillprevail
When I was thirteen, I was still in middle school. Adults say “it goes by so fast!” For me, it couldn’t go by fast enough.
The library smelled nice, unlike the ammonia-tainted hallways and bathrooms, so I spent a lot of time there. I liked the older books, the ones that were thick and still barely touched, passed by in favor of James Patterson or Meg Cabot. But I was not guilty of such a lack of depth—no, I read Ivanhoe, Robinson Crusoe, Gone With the Wind, and some ten thousand others, usually alone, in some corner, experiencing vicariously.
I was at the library, subscribing to my usual practice (enter, inhale, search, check out, read, linger, slooowly go back to class) when I became aware that others were pointing at me, others that were older than I was.
A year is a world of difference in middle school. I was in seventh. They were in eighth. Can you see them? Gangly and pre-pubescent, wearing ill-fitted Nike sportswear, tossing around books like they would a ball, with all the egocentrism of fourteen—I was very afraid. There are few worse things than a bored male.
I was checking out when a member of this group approached me: “Do you want to go out with me?”
Anyone not there would have assumed he was asking a legitimate question, just being a boy. But I knew. I was far below him in the food chain, wearing something juvenile (a butterfly shirt, I think), picking out books that looked like they belonged in a mausoleum. It was a joke—to think that he, the mighty he, wanted anything to do with lowly me. His friends were laughing, and I was crying. He persisted, smirking and sardonic and forceful, while the librarian across the desk from me blushed and was mute.
How many times have I revisited that memory? How many times have I inflicted hurt on those boys, for crushing my spirit so callously?
I looked down, trying to collect myself before going back to class, and I recognized the comfort of my books.
They would laugh at me, but I could flee, if not in person then in my mind. They acted out of a need for entertainment. That was all.
But I had seen everything through others, and I knew what boredom was and also what cruelty it can conceive. They did not approve of me. I did not approve of them.
I did not want them to approve of me.
My small rebellions mean absolutely nothing to people other than myself. But they give me some semblance of identity: with each refusal to let someone else define me, I become something more.
I will fit expectations if they are worthy. I will conform if need be. But I will not lessen my sense of identity because of an incident between two very confused, young people. I am more than what they thought I was. I have to believe that.

Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us:  StageofLife.com is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on StageofLife.com.  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by StageofLife.com.  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on TIME.com, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests


2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests





2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests


Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog

StageofLife.com was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy