What am I like as a person? Complicated! I’m sensitive, friendly, outgoing, popular, and tolerant, though I can also be shy, self-conscious, and even obnoxious. Obnoxious! I’d like to be friendly and tolerant all of the time. That’s the kind of person I want to be, and I’m disappointed when I’m not. I’m responsible, even studious now and then, but on the other hand, I’m a goof-off too, because if you’re too studious you won’t be popular. I don’t usually do that well at school. I’m a pretty cheerful person, especially with my friends, where I can even get rowdy. At home I’m more likely to be anxious around my parents. They expect me to get all A’s. It’s not fair! I worry about how I probably should get better grades. But I’d be mortified in the eyes of my friends. So I’m usually pretty stressed-out at home, or sarcastic, since my parents are always on my case. But I really don’t understand how I can switch so fast. I mean, how can I be cheerful one minute, anxious the next, and then be sarcastic? Which one is the real me? Sometimes, I feel phony, especially around boys. Say I think some guy might be interested in asking me out. I try to act different, like Madonna. I’ll be flirtatious and fun-loving. And then everybody, I mean everybody else is looking at me like they think I’m totally weird. Then I get self-conscious and embarrassed and become radically introverted, and I don’t know who I really am! Am I just trying to impress them or what? But I don’t really care what they think anyway. I don’t want to care, that is. I just want to know what my close friends think. I can be my true self with my close friends. I can’t be my real self with my parents. They don’t understand me. What do they know about what it’s like to be a teenager? They still treat me like I’m still a kid. At least at school people treat you more like you’re an adult. That gets confusing, though. I mean, which am I, a kid or an adult? It’s scary, too, because I don’t have any idea what I want to be when I grow up. I mean, I have lots of ideas. My friend Sheryl and I talk about whether we’ll be flight attendants or teachers or nurses, veterinarians, maybe mothers, or actresses. I know I don’t want to be a waitress or a secretary. But how do you decide all of this? I really don’t know. I mean. I think about it a lot, but I can’t resolve it. There are days when I wish I could just become immune to myself.
By Anonymous. Harter, 1990, pp. 352-53. Transcribed by Mac Davis for Philosophy Circle’s reading catalogue.
-SO ME! hahaha XD