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[YRP Students' Essays] Looking for Myself, Konomi

The essay is written based on the novel, "Looking for Alibrandi" written by an Australian woman Melina Marchetta, about a girl in her last year of high school who is trying to find her identity.
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In the novel "Looking for Alibrandi", Josephine was finally able to understand who she really was, and accept herself the way she was. At first, she didn't know where she belonged. She felt left out, both as an Italian and Australian. She also had to face her father, who she never thought existed. She had to choose who she should hang out with, the boy she wanted or the boy who wanted her. She faced her friend's death, and the pain of breaking up with Jacob, her choice of the two boys. She also found out about her grandmother's family secret.

Through all these experiences, she finally understood that she should be proud to be an Australian with Italian blood, because that's what she felt like. She overcame the pain and took a step foreword for a better life. She was finally able to set herself free.

I struggled just like Josephine when I came back from America. Every time I got a letter from my best friends telling me what had happened around them at school I wondered "What am I doing here?" Somehow inside myself I assumed that Japan was not a place where I should be. So I had a strong grudge against my father for bringing me back to a place with no delight, no laughter and no friends. However, as I spent time in Japan, I began to make many friends here, and now have very close relationships with them. They are the ones who brought back enjoyment to my dull life. Now, I think that I'm lucky to have best friends both in Japan and America. I learned that it doesn't really matter where I live right now, because no matter where I live, the fact that we are best friends will never change.

I'm in the school dance club right now. In the dance club, we have to make our dances by ourselves, which is the most difficult thing. There are people in my group who can come up with a lot of new ideas about dances while we're making them. However, since I'm a slow person, it takes me a lot of time to create dances, or sometimes, I can't come up with any ideas. I used to be stressed about that, since I thought that I was not needed in the group. But now, I think that everyone has his or her own pace, and that it's okay for me to take my time. It might take me a whole day to come up with a single step, but that's the way I am.

Like Josephine said, I think what matters the most is who I feel I am. And I feel like I'm a lucky girl to have friends all over the world, and dance members who support me. From now on, I won't be afraid to be myself. If I can't accept myself, who else will? I might have to go through more complicated problems, but I will always keep in mind not to lose myself.

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Konomi Hiroe, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.

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