I was rummaging my old envelope case for my world encyclopedia (something in relation to my sociology class) when I found photos of me from high school. “I never looked pretty in pictures,” I thought with a sigh. [Well, that’s a bit of bitter reality there.] I kept looking for it until I stumbled upon an old birthday card addressed to me on my 15th birthday. I got curious. I don’t remember ever having this letter. There’s something handwritten at the front and it says

You are like music. They judge you for your tune…but once they hear the lyrics, it changes their lives forever.

I stopped and reread those words for I don’t know how many times and how long. I just stared at them and I don’t know why those word makes me want to cry all of a sudden. I opened it and inside is a letter written in big cursive handwriting. I was even more curious because I am sure I could still remember my close friends’ handwriting even if it’s almost 5 years ago. As I read it, I didn’t know tears were already welling up in my eyes, threatening to fall. It speaks of the first day of high school— of how she hated my guts and my frank personality, of how I can be so harsh with my words, of how she didn’t know if they are meant to hurt somebody or not but it also speaks of how she believed she did not have any friends and even up till then, she is still not sure of having true ones however she believed I am one and she thanked me for the chance and the friendship when none gave it to her. I looked at the signature at the bottom and indeed, it isn’t one of my closest friends but instead, one of my not-too-fond-of competitor.

And just like that, I broke down and cried so hard.

I didn’t know why that triggered my current state but all I know is that I was too taken aback by those words. I didn’t know I needed words which tell me of my importance. Because lately, I feel like I am reduced to nothing but a funny clown for my friends to laugh at and a sarcastic girl with too much of her sharp tongue and cold personality but  reading those words feels like I can be something, someone good for others too. Those are things without hidden motives and they are from me. That girl who became her friend was me. And I was so glad to hear not empty praises but honest words because I may look like I don’t care but the thing is, I never lied when I said that my friends’ laughter are the most rewarding sound I have heard in this world.

You know, sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and see this selfish, lazy, inconsiderate and self-centered girl that they see in me. I wonder, is there someone there hiding behind that facade who is capable of being kind and selfless or am I just deluding myself into thinking that but the reality in fact was exactly how others see me? Does thinking I am a deep person made me a shallow one?