The Ever So Interesting Way Of How I Became Who I think I Am
“Hey Mom?” I ask as I walk into our small, dingy, chaotic, but organized kitchen, “I’m writing this ‘definition of me’ paper for AP Lang, and I don’t know how to start it.”
My mom watches me intently with her large, bespectacled blue eyes for about a minute and tells me “Well, knowing you, you would probably want something funny, odd, or both. So try starting with something like that?” she suggests
“That’s perfect!” I exclaim giving an excited little jump in place, “and to be totally honest, and you were saying that, I thought of one of my favorite quotes ever.”
She brushed her short curly hair from her face and laughed. “Well, you have about a million of those written in that quote book of yours, so amaze me, which are you thinking of?”
‘“Clothes make the man—naked people have little to no influence on society.’ By Mark Twain” I say with a professional, almost British air and a grin.
She chuckled heartily as she strode around the kitchen in her bright red nightgown. “If you were to say that to me, that’s when I’d tell you ‘If you ain’t never seen it before, you won’t know what it is, and if you have, what’s the difference?”
Greetings, earthlings! I am Cassie. I am also sarcastic, loud, crazy, colorful, clever, passionate about the things I do, the most ridiculous person you’ll ever meet, loving, loyal, care-free, suggestive (Mom added this one J), and a few other choice words that I won’t mention—my big, over-opinionated mouth gets me in trouble sometimes (if you know what I mean).
In this paper, you’ll learn more about me and how I function. So before you get over-whelmed, I’ll start simple: with the first book I ever became emotionally attached to, which I read in 4th grade. That book was “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Patterson.
I became attached to this book in particular because I wanted to live the life of Jess. He was a poor, but kind-hearted farm boy. And I wanted to be as brave and creative as his friend Leslie. Leslie was the one I became really attached to. To this day I can’t fully explain it, but her character just… clicked with me. I like her a lot, and I think it had to do with the fact she was brave, outgoing, and not afraid to be an individual. She was everything I was too scared to be. So I loved and admired her for it. When she died crossing the bridge to the imaginary world she and Jess created… I honestly balled my eyes out.
I never had to deal with death before reading this book, and it exposed me to it. I really feel like me getting attached to Leslie and then having her die was what prepared me for the death of my Uncle Tim. About a year after reading it, he lost his battle with cancer.
“Bridge to Terabithia” taught me that while it is sad, death is inevitable and a fact of life. It taught me that when you die, you’re no longer in any pain, and knowing that helped my 9 year old heart handle my grief better. Heck, it just made me stronger in general.
Books, as well as people have been heavy influences in my life. The one person that I feel has influenced me the most is my Aunt Eileen. Her influence was strongest on me during my first 12 years, and has lasted till this day. She was my baby sitter, primary care giver, 2nd mom, and the first person I ever told about the bullying problems I dealt with.
When she moved from Melvindale to
when I was in first grade, (and because she watched me all the time for my mom,) I was able to switch into Allen Park schools. 1) Because my mom felt like Melvindale was losing its touch and 2) because it didn’t add up to drive to Melvindale schools when she lived right by one in Allen Park. So it’s thanks to her that I go here and that I’m even in this class here, typing this paper to tell you about it. Allen Park
I was always shy to say much around her because I didn’t feel like I had anything good or clever to say. (Sometimes I still feel this way, but I’ve always been grateful for her being there, and teaching me what she did; whether she meant to or not).
My aunt Eileen can make the most normal, boring daily event sound awesome; just the loaded language, detail, description, and dramatic emphasis she puts into it makes a walk to the mail box sound like a super awesome movie trailer.
She taught me how to tell stories, put emphasis and feeling into things, how to be observant and think outside the box. I also feel like she taught me to stay strong and fight my own battles. I was able to take the speaking I learned from her as well and apply it to my writing to make it fancy.
Speaking of fancy writing, I became a legit published author for the first time ever in 9th grade. I had my short story “Loss of the Unknown Lovers” published in The Cranial Chronicle. This was also the first time I wrote an actual story and not just a poem. The story is based off a dream I had; in the dream, a woman kills herself by jumping off a cliff and into raging waters because she can’t be with the man she loves due to the fact he is happily married.
Her best guy friend follows in her footsteps not long after because he has loved her for his entire life, but she never wanted him. A few days later, their water-logged bodies are found in a loving embrace by a fisherman.
Creepiness aside, and as depressing as it is, this too is a fact of life. And the main reason I wrote it, (other than to get it out of my head), was to reinforce some vital life lessons onto myself. I represented them through symbolism with the characters, (whose names you never actually learn, hence the “unknown lovers”). With her, I want to show that “You can’t keep dwelling on the past for life is not meant to be traveled backwards.” With the woman, I also wanted to show that when you really truly love someone, you put their wants, their needs, and their desires before your own for love is not selfish. If she really loved the married man, she would have wanted him to be happy and live his life. As for her guy friend, I wanted to show with him that when you love someone and let them go, they may comeback. And if they do, they were always yours. But if they don’t then they never were. And if they don’t come back, you have to let them go for real.
The story was to remind me to stay true to myself, strong to what I believe in, and never forget what matters the most.
Now, as I’m sure you can tell by the wide range of things I’ve told you about, I went through some “phases”. In other words, I had a bit of an obsession with stereotypes and what other people thought of me. I went through these phases from 6th to 9th grade.
In 6th grade, I was just sort of “there”. Though I did try for ‘nerd’ a bit. But mostly, I just sat back, took criticism quietly and did a lot of people watching. By doing all the people watching that I did, I learned what the stereotypes were and I was deciding which I wanted to fit into.
By the time 7th grade rolled around, I decided that I wanted to be a stereotypical ‘prep’. I would always look good, have lots of friends, be well liked, have nice clothes, wear make-up, and my life would be fan-freaking-tastic. But this plan was like Communism; in theory it worked well, but in actuality, it wasn’t at all like I had planned. The problem with my ingenious plan was that my peers didn’t conform to it in the slightest. They seemed to avoid me like I had the freakin’ plague or something.
That one didn’t work out, so I tried something different. With the new theory I cooked up, I thought that maybe I just had to stay away from the majority of my peers (other than the few friends I did have,) and then the others would come to me.
So from the rest of 7th to 9th grade, I became the “emo chick”. I wore tight pants, dark shirts, and was kind of a jerk. This was the stereotype I was really OCD with. I would only let my self dress certain ways, listen to certain music, talk to only certain people, only eat certain foods, my grades could be no higher than a C+, but no lower than a D, I could go on and on. I didn’t let the real me shine through, nor did I let myself show my full potential.
For example, when taking a test, if I knew I already got enough right to get at least a D, I would purposely pick wrong answers so my grades wouldn’t get too high. In the back of my mind, I felt like an idiot for doing it, and the thoughts “Why am I doing this?” and “Who am I trying to please? Or rather, who am I trying to disappoint?” kept floating across my mind.
(I’ll be honest, I really truly struggled in 10th grade, but that is because I got myself into bad habits, and I had a hard time pulling myself out of the crappy grades/effort ditch I put myself into).
But one day, about a week before sophomore year started, I woke up, and got pimp slapped by reality. Literally.
It was a dream that I had that made me face facts. In my dream, I was at school, going through a normal day. In the dream when I was at my locker, one of my tormentors approached me (I won’t say who), and she was angry at me for some reason, and was yelling at me. She called me names, I won’t say here, and then yelled: “Who are you trying to fool?! You will never fit in anywhere, you freak!!” (She said some other things in there too, but I’m just going to stick with the paraphrased version). My response to her was “Yeah. I am just a freak. But I’m also a goofball, and a wing-nut, and a knuckle head McSpazatron! But most of all, I’m…. I’m…. I’M A GOOFY GOOBER, ROCK!” And I burst into the rock ‘n’ roll goofy goober song from Spongebob. I just have to say, it was an awesome dream. I had a wizard costume, a guitar solo, and a Dumbledore beard. Those 3 things in any sentence make everything awesome.
But, my weird dream aside, it woke me up to see what I really am inside. The dream made me realize, that it didn’t matter what anyone said about me, because as long as I like myself, that’s all that matters. I also realized that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I wasn’t made to please someone else; I was made to please me.
What I am trying to say is that my experiences have made me strong and an individual. To be truthful, if you tried to define me now, you wouldn’t be able to because I’m just different like that. On second thought, I lied; the only way to define me is with the word “undefineable.”