Torrance High School

A helping hand

There it goes, or should I say there it remains? The gaze sweeps over me, probing and assessing, scrupulous and unrelenting, searching for familiarity until boom. Caught in a wave of confusion, they come to the conclusion that the only way out is to give in. To give in to the sense of bewilderment burning it’s way through “proper social etiquette.” “What happened?” they ask. “I don’t know, what DID happen?” I ask back.

You see, I forget. I forget, that sometimes, I don’t hold on quite as tight. I forget, that sometimes, I don’t get the perfect grip. I choose not to focus on the fact that my fingers on my left hand, are shorter than those of my right hand. But I always remember, that it’s a blessing in disguise.

As humans, we’re naturally inclined to fall into a pattern, into a routine. But I believe, it’s my job to disrupt the conventional and replace it with something a bit more exciting, a bit more thrilling. My left hand, at least in the beginning, did all the dirty work for me. Through various encounters, brought about by a difference in appearance, I learned how to talk and communicate with everyone: from strangers and teachers, to coaches and friends. The daily interrogations, taught me humility, and a fundamental understanding of identity.

I’ve grown to predict the questions someone will ask when caught in their “wave of confusion”: the first being, “What happened?” and following that, “Is it hard?”. To the second, I answer, “No, is it hard to use YOUR hands?” There should be no reason why it would be harder for me to use my left hand than my right, I’ve had the same amount of practice with both. Instead of letting my smaller digits and astray glances define me, I have chosen to define myself.

Every morning I wake up, I decide to make each and every moment an adventurous one and promise to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I set my sights high knowing that failure is inevitable, however, while alone we may never be perfect, together we can be great. It’s a given, that when each of us chooses to be ourselves, free from the judgment of others, a slightly better world is created.

So no matter your physical, social, or economic condition I urge you to overcome. Overcome the doubt and insecurity lurking behind each and every move and let loose. For if you live your life in the shadows of others, you’ll never know yourself. Adventure inside and explore. You may be surprised by what you find.

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