Simple Truths

Simple Truths

Claudia Pascale, Staff Writer

I honestly dislike this assignment. In class we have to write a personal essay and I don’t like it. Not because I don’t want want to do work, or that I dislike writing (I love to write; I do it all the time) or even because I dislike the idea of a personal essay or the beautiful message of what they stand for. I just don’t want to express my core beliefs. I don’t want to because I’m not ready yet. And I refuse to write down just anything that is just remotely true about myself for a good grade because that’ll go against who I am and standing true to myself. It would be disingenuous.

I feel like to tell someone your absolute deepest beliefs is something personal and deep. That, in order for someone to grasp the hows or the whys, they would’ve had to know me for a long, long time. Or at the very least until I’m ready to tell the world. That when I tell someone why I do something, or what I genuinely believe in, I feel safe in exposing to them that piece of myself. I risk that vulnerability. And I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I don’t like relying on other people to safeguard bits of myself when they could use my words however they please. And I’m not going to show those bits and fragments of myself for an A. I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful; it’s just a truth. And more importantly, my truth.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was a military brat. For those who don’t know (I didn’t) it’s slang for a kid who was raised in a military base and moved around. And when you’ve never lived in the same place for more than three years throughout your whole life. It takes a toll on you. Every time I moved, I had to rebuild relationships, views, and social placement all over again. Once I got to really know someone, I had to pack my bags all over again. I would never see or hear from that person again, no matter how close we’d become. I remember and befriended so many people that I know I’m never going to see again. In North Carolina there were these two boys that I stayed with for a few days because of a surprise hurricane. In Louisiana there was a group of kids that I traveled into the woods with and at one point had to outfox and outrun the man who owned the territory when we accidentally went in too far. And so, so much more.  

Because of that, I learned to distance myself. And no, not like the social rejects you see in the movies and read in books where they stand awkwardly in a dark corner and eat lunch by themselves at the far table (OK, maybe a little bit). I just kept more to myself than most kids the things that would really matter to me. I would only show very shallow pieces of myself. The kind of parts of myself were I didn’t care where the words ended up or who heard them. Now that I live in one spot and don’t have to move anymore, I want to change this. I want to be more open in this aspect, but it’s going to take time. Lots of it.

And that’s OK.

I don’t have to change all at once. I don’t have have to “reform” myself over night. I have all the time in the world. I just need to take it one step at a time.

You might call me a hypocrite, for what I wrote. And I suppose on some level you’re right. But that’s how words work for me. You tell and show more than you want to. Besides, I’m ready to tell you this truth. I’m ready to take this step.

I guess the moral of the story (if you can call it that) is that it’s OK to say no. That I believe that some things take time; sometimes it takes more years from you than you want it to. But that’s OK. Take your time. Not only that, but sometimes even my own rules and standards are meant to be broken, shattered, then rebuilt into something new for the better. Even if it’s only a one time gig. Sometimes rules and expectations are meant to be rebuilt.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.