“Why do I have to do this?” It was all I could think about while I continued my 7th grade project. It touched on all the things that I had always tried to avoid. I had to describe myself. When asked to describe myself as a simple beginning of the year question I have always kept my answers short, simple, uncreative and each time the answer was generally identical. It was the thing I hated most in the world. Why? Maybe I didn’t understand myself. But to be given a whole project on that subject alone, it felt like my stomach had just done a somersault. So I just sat there, thinking, who am I?
So many years have past but this lingering question has still followed me. Even after finishing the project I was still uncertain of whom I was, and made it a basic project. My life has always been filled with so much uncertainness. As a result I have always been indecisive in all my decisions, even the simplest decisions. Who do I want be? What will I become? I wonder why it was so hard for me. Was I afraid?
Was I fearful? The more I thought about it, the more it kind of made sense. When spending time with a group of my friends I am usually loud and extroverted. Playing video games on our laptops like Call of Duty 4, Spore and mine craft. We are hyper, running around messing with each other and joking around. Sometimes sit around talking and chill, awaiting the next class. In class it is always a different story. It is like a switch was flipped on me. Shy, hesitant; peers would hardly know I was there. I was always terrified to share my thoughts, so I nearly always kept my hands down. And when I actually did put my hand up every once in a blue moon, there was a huge round of applause from everyone in the class like it was the most amazing thing they have seen. Embarrassment was definitely a factor.
So was it my lack of detail in explaining myself. Like when I did the descriptive writing essay. As I was staring at that 6x4 photo in my brightly lit, slightly messy room, trying to figure it out, it seemed impossible. First of all, I have never been good at descriptive writing for the last 15 years of my life. For my assignment I was told to write a thorough description of a piece of art important to you, so I chose a photo that I treasured. Even though I treasured it, I realized that I never really looked at it, I didn’t even remember the reason I treasured it. I looked at it sideways, backwards and even measured it, but still, nothing. So I finally looked at, looking for anything and everything. As I stared at the photo intensely, like it was the most interesting thing in the world, all I could see were the obvious points. In the photo were both my grand mother and my little brother Nathaniel when he was around 4 or 5 years old. So I looked at closer, staring at my brother’s old braided hair, looking at the old him, it was like staring into the past. He was older now, with shaved hair; I had forgotten what he used to look like. So I continued to stare at it, remembering lost memories, trying to recall anything and everything.
But no matter how many questions these answered my main one was yet to be answered, who am I? So I just sat there and thought. I thought about everything that had happened to me up to now. I tried and tried and tried. I wanted to remember something to answer my question.
I found it, the answer. It was in piece of me writing that I had forgotten. Something I shared out despite the fear and embarrassment.
They say I’m not American
I am Jamerican
They say that I’m no good
I know how to rise above stereotypes and be good
Don’t judge me by the fact I came from the hood
They say my people are all a shame
I am not the same
They say I’m not anything I’m hopeless
Stop the dumbness
I’m gonna stay out the darkness
To rise to greatness
This poem reminds me of who I am, I am different, think different, and do things different. It might take me a while to completely understand myself, but that is ok. As I head out on my own path, I know it’ll all be fine. I am undefined and I am fine with that. I doubt anyone else understands themselves either, so why should I sweat it.