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My name is Margaret, and I’m 17 years old. Today I challenge the concept of describing “yourself.” To describe a person is actually to describe the multiple characteristics they may/ may not have. She’s pretty, she’s ugly, she’s bossy, she’s kind and so on. What one may not know is that multiple regions in a person’s brain, individualized by her/him determine characteristics. When someone asks me to “describe myself.” I can’t. It’s an impossible task- instead I have to describe the multiple girls, living inside my head making me my complex, integrated, abnormal, self.

Girl One: She’s the main girl in charge. She’s headstrong, beautiful and talented- in many ways. She’s incredibly motivated, to be the absolute best at everything she does- I call her the perfectionist. She’s harsh when critiquing- to simply put it, she doesn’t believe in sympathy or being nice. “Weak doesn’t make perfection,” she says. “You HAVE to be the best.” Her biggest weakness- losing. She adores winning, and wins many things. Her part of our room is constantly getting filled up with awards, certificates, medals, trophies, ribbons, etc. She may seem happy most of the time, however when something doesn’t go right….. She’s gone. Replaced by her friend, depression, hurt, anger, more depression. She feels lost. she has no idea what to do next- it’s a mess. She shuts down and entraps herself in a sad little bubble. She threatens to kill- as their is no point in living she says.

Girl Two: She’s the one who picks up girl one- she shoves sense into her. She doesn’t believe in giving up. It’s her number one pet peeve when people result in giving up. She’s incredibly firey, also motivated the only difference between her and girl one is she knows how get people motivated in the right way. She understands the importance of trying and succeeding, but more importantly learning from mistakes- this is why Girl one hates her, because she doesn’t believe in making mistakes.

Girl Three: She’s the NERD. But Nerd isn’t the right word to describe her. More like absolute lover of learning. She’s one of the biggest managers of me. If there was a cute guy that was intellectual and sweet Girl Three would be mad crushing and daydreaming about being his girlfriend. She as this theory- the brain she lives in, it's her house that she shares. However this is a special house because it has an infinite amount of rooms that never run out of space. Just like a normal house has rooms designated for specific things (sleeping, studying, etc.) so does her house. She stores the different information in the different rooms. The only con to having this amazing house is that since the rooms have an infinite amount of space, loosing information is common when she is unorganized. However she is normally organized, so loosing information isn’t one of her problems. Even if she does lose the information, she can find a way of retrieving it. Her goal in life is to learn- she wants to learn everything, whether it be history, art, math, english, whatever, she just wants to learn it all. Nerds not the word to describe her- sponge, more like hard sponge would describe her. Although she wishes to learn she can’t retain information that fast, she needs time to process it and understand it. She needs the time to think and ask questions, and review it again. Girl Four hates her for this quality, but girl three can’t help it. It’s one of the biggest flaws she has. She’s usually happy but will get frustrated if she can’t seem to get something right

Girl Four: She’s also a perfectionist like Girl One- only she’s a bit more of a perfectionist in school life. She has this weird concept about school- school is like a mountain climbing race among your classmates. There are many roadblocks, things that can stun your ability to climb the mountain. But with the right tools, methods, etc. you can climb that mountain efficiently. She believes that I can be the best in school, if I put my mind to it. She’s super pushy and bossy. But in the end she just wants what it best for the overall well being on school me. Honestly I feel like she never leaves my side. She and Girl three are best friends (although they do have their disputes) they have to collaborate together in order to make me effective. Although she seems great sometimes having her around can be overwhelming to me. When something doesn’t go right she gets mad. Frustration pents up inside of her, anger levels rise, fists begin to clench. Sometimes she feels alone because when I collaborate with other girls, they tell me I’m crazy, insane and should be happy with the grade I get. None of them understand me- especially her in me. That’s why she can be a con to me, no- one will understand me because of her “passion” to be the best when it comes to anything academic.    

Girl Five: You would think she just wants to have fun. After all you’ve pretty much red about these perfectionists and weirdos. You would think that I would finally have a normal person living inside of me. Wrong. She’s another perfectionist. Only she wants to perfect anything extra curricular related. Science Team, volunteering, you name it and she’s gonna try and make me perfect in it. She and girl one are literally twins. They want the absolute same things for me in my life just in different areas. They both have a huge breakdown if things don’t go right. The only difference between her and girl one is that she is a little less a perfectionist (trust me it’s not a huge difference, only about 0.000000000000000000000000000000000001% less). Yes, she wants the absolute best for me, but she understands that if the team has a loss sometimes it’s just not my turn to shine. She understands that things can be hard because of how I am and the abilities I may/ may not have. She does get frustrated by that and the loss, in the end she doesn’t usually need help to pick herself up from a loss. She’s smart and can handle herself even in the worst of circumstances.

Girl Six: She died years ago. She got shot in the heart one day when she was playing outside. They tried everything to keep her from going to Heaven but it didn’t work. She died when she was only 9 years old. She was the sweetest little girl. She liked school and her family, she did have some issues (ex. being singled out at school because of color and her weirdness) but she was working them out. She enjoyed playing with her dollies, dressing up, going shopping and playing doctor. She had so much more life to experience, I feel so bad and wish I could have prevented her getting shot and killed. But there was absolutely nothing I could do. What killed her you ask? Believe it or not, her own life killed her. It all began when she was eight. Her biological little sister was only 5 years old. One day she called her parents after school, continuing on with typical routine. Then her mom picked up her dad’s phone. He explained that he picked up the phone because he was sick- he had a fall at work today, and that she would be a little late on picking them up today as they were in the ER, having him checked and tested. Later that day she came home, ate dinner, took a shower, and went to bed. That was her last normal day. After that life felt like an uphill battle. She found out that her dad had a tumor in her brain and it was malignant. Her mother had to take her to the doctor a lot, life dramatically changed for the family. As all this happened the girl had to grow up fast. She began doing school work by herself, mothering her little sister at times, doing common household chores that her mother could do if she weren’t sick, and much more. She went from an innocent little girl to this almost adult figure within a matter of months. Those doctors did the best they could remove the bullet from her heart, in an effort to try and save her but there was nothing they could do as she lost to much of her childhood innocence to live.

Girl Seven: She’s a direct result of Girl 6 dying. She came into the family like another daughter to them. The family believes she was a reincarnation of Girl six. She has almost the same interests and the strong positive qualities- leadership, kindness, silliness, etc. She picked up the family’s life and spun it around. She always found a positive side to everything and worked incredibly hard to succeed in life. She’s still in me today. She’s…… She’s the best. What would I do without her?

Girl 7.5 (She’s 0.5 of Seven for a reason, I’m not just crazy): She’s shy. She controls the one thing I don’t like to do at all- cry. She doesn’t talk to me, we don’t really know each other. She rarely comes to me when life gives me the worst, mostly she makes appearances at the worst times. They're so unexpected I hate it when she shows up! My good friend who had been battling cancer for some time now was still in the hospital. The doctors were doing everything they could to save her. On a dark Saturday night my mom received a phone call. She just got work that my good friend had passed. My mom sat me down and explained this to me. When I wanted to cry, when I needed to cry, she didn’t let me. Then one night I was at a friends house for a sleepover. It was rather late 3 or 4 in the morning when a commercial aired. It was the one about a girl growing up getting diagnosed with cancer, overcoming her disease, and growing up to be one the country’s best pediatric oncologists. Then guess who decides to show up. HER. I immediately break into tears, and begin thinking so hard about her and how I miss her. How she won’t have the chance to get her driver’s license, go to prom, get accepted into an ivy league college like she wanted to. It all just suddenly hit me, and it hurt so badly. I absolutely hate crying but this particular time I am so grateful she came when I was alone- my friends were asleep when I broke out in tears. Although one friend did wake up moments later, heard me in the bathroom, and  questioned why I was in the bathroom. I lied to her and said I had to use the bathroom. My main point: Girl Seven and I are completely out of touch. Honestly we never talk and I don’t plan to talk to her any time soon. I don’t like seeing her.

Girl Eight: She controls my other emotions. She and I are usually in contact with the emotions I like to express like happiness, joy, kindness and excitement. We sometimes we talk about the emotions I unfortunately express- anger or attitudes. She helps me to I feel super complex and I am because of the girls in my head. Sometimes she makes me mad at the simplest thing. We’re currently working on expressing emotions that we dislike (sadness, anger, etc.) in the right way- we’re trying out journaling again, for like the billionth time. We’ve tried it before and it's always resulted in a notebook with some random thought scribbled in it and then shoved into the depths of our bedroom. However she usually she keeps me happy and joyful.

Girl Nine: I call her the child in me, because she literally is the child in me. I love so many childish immature things because of her. She loves tinkerbell, barbie, unicorns, teddy bears, the color purple, adorable puppies, kitties, and baby animals. She’s like Girl six- the one that got killed. I love having her around, she helps me by keeping me young. She’s so darn immature, I never want her to grow up at all.

Girl Ten: She loves performing, being on stage in front of tons of people. She’s outgoing and funny, people adore watching her. She doesn’t experience nervousness- she only feels one thing. That is pure joy, she enjoys every minute. Even when she’s competing- she doesn’t care what the outcome is, she just wants to have fun (ok, and win) and that shows on stage. Singing, Acting, Speaking, it all makes her happy. I hope to keep her around as she helps me a lot.

Girl Eleven: Girl Eleven sucks- she brings disease. Every time I feel sick and show symptoms I know she’s around. I can describe her in a simple phrase, “She’s silent but deadly.” When she shows up I have no idea how long she stays- but when she does stay it’s really bad, like child abuse but for the body. Body abuse. She makes me ache, hurt, lethargic, and so much more. She honestly hates me and makes me suffer purposely- so my dreams don’t happen. I’m always sick, my immune system is so fragile. I need constant care when I’m sick. Once I was so sick, she almost put my life on the line. I was sick, but the “flu” I thought I had turned into more. The usual symptoms were experienced along with more- trouble breathing, a weird crackly sound, sky high fevers, pools of sweat. Although the weather outside was below zero, it was so refreshing to feel. It managed to cool be down a little bit, but then it was back to sky high fever and this time feeling faintish. My mother heard the crackling and immediately sent me to urgent care. They ordered more meds to control who knows what, and a machine- a nebulizer- to make breathing easier. I missed three weeks of school and re-appeared in school three weeks later, healthy but still susceptible to disease. She left me then but still makes constant visits, especially during the winter. However her wanting to make me suffer is a little less, now it’s usually just a minor disease that comes and go’s. She’s……

Girl Twelve: She is religious me. She helps me talk to God, and to make time for my Catholicism. She helps me- she knows God is my friend and will help to take care of my problems if I trust him and leave it to him. He will control my life, and what he does has a good reason. Sometimes I have a hard time with her, but she is patient with me and calmly explains to me why we need to do religious things properly. Prayer is something someone can easily over look. They literally just say, “Hey God. Please help me get a new bike, new doll, whatever. Okay Bye now.” Then their off. I would be one of those people if I didn’t have girl Twelve with me. She reminds me who God is and how I should pray. I love her, I would be lost without her.

Girl Thirteen: She’s the dreamer. She’s very creative and enjoys being spiritual and thinking. She makes lists- long lists of our goals and dreams in life. We dream of maintaining a 4.000 GPA in High School and going off to a great college. Then someday we plan to go to Medical School. We dream of traveling the world, minus some colder regions like Antarctica. We dream of going to a cooking class. We dream of finding the guy of our dreams, getting married, and someday having our own family. Sometime these dreams seem completely out of reach, but with her they become reachable. She helps me to keep me happy.

In conclusion when people ask me to describe myself, I don’t describe me but rather the girls that make me. Girls 1-13. They make me, me. Literally. If I didn’t have them I wouldn't exist. This girl some may know wouldn’t exist- she would be an absolute nothing. A waste of space. However I do I have them. You know what they help me describe me. So ask me again, “Describe yourself.” Well, I am…..


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