Unleashing My Real Self to the World

by Gaby Caballero ’23

If there’s one word I would use to describe myself it would be “sporadic.” I’ve always been in inner turmoil, debating on whether or not I should say this or do that. I’ve done my best to manage this feeling of volatility but it’s tiresome. There have been many moments where the mismanagement of my big feelings have led to negative outcomes. I made many decisions without thinking of the consequences, too far engrossed in the present and not enough in the future. I jumped first without looking down at where I would land. At first, I felt that being spontaneous and wild would appease the feeling of my life being out of my control when in reality, it didn’t bring any further assurance in myself. I was still wildly insecure and anxious and didn’t know my place in the world. I suppose I still don’t.

In my junior year, my first year at Sherwood, I was a lot quieter and incredibly in my head about the proper way to interact with people. It was hard. I spent many lunches by myself in the library, many class periods biting my tongue instead of speaking up. I barely realized that I was allowed to sit with my friends at lunch until I found out that they actually missed having me around.

So when senior year rolled around, I decided I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore. I would let people see the real, bubbly me. I auditioned for Rock N’ Roll Revival despite having been too shy and scared to do it last year. Then, spurred on by various other friends in the class, I decided to join the Newspaper class at the end of first semester. I even joined the spring musical despite never having been in a theatre production before. I did all of these things even though it would be the first and last time I would ever do them in a high school setting. I was exploring creative worlds that I had never seen before simply because I was too scared to be my real, spontaneous self.

I learned that in order to truly enjoy life, I had to put myself out there. I learned that there would always be someone willing to put up with my crazed outbursts, whether good or bad, and that I wasn’t alone. I had to allow myself to be vulnerable with the world so that I could see all that it had to offer. And indeed I did.