“I am not my cynicism”

Project Description:

Rejection. Something I faced on my very first day of high school. 4 years later, I find myself putting up barriers that never would’ve existed in my middle and elementary school days. Then again, what does a 10 year old know about the true colors of people? The middle school I came from was fine, I had great friends and great relationships with those people, but when we went to different schools in 9th grade, my world did a complete 180.

I knew no one, and felt alone. I tried to fit in and be myself just like I always had! But being myself granted people the excuse to tell me that it wasn’t going to be easy…and it hasn’t been. I was talked about behind my back by “friends”; I was “that weird girl”, the girl that didn’t fit on, because I was being myself. I was genuinely friendly to everyone I met and accepting of people I barely knew…why couldn’t they be the same? Over the course of the next 3 years, I became someone I barely knew. I was no longer as outgoing as I used to be, I returned all my emotion to my body and was afraid. Of what, I kept asking myself. Oh yeah, THEM. They were the tricksters, and I was just the fool that got played. I’d been called cynical and angry by almost every single one of my teachers, but one in particular made me rethink everything I had become. Mr. Brian Causer, my photo teacher since sophomore year, and a man who had grown to be someone I highly respected.

I talked about everything in my life with him and he listened, and I mean really listened. He took in my stories and my problems, and returned acceptance. That’s all I had ever wanted, to be accepted. Slowly, but surely, this man broke down a series of walls I had been building over the course of my high school career. My social circle is few, something I am not ashamed of. The few I let in have proved to be true and for that I am always grateful.

No, I do not hate every single person I meet. Yes, I have boundaries, but they are not something I hope to keep a permanent weight on my shoulders. The real me is still there, waiting to re-surface. And one day, I will.