Revolution, Part One: My Epiphany


Jack Cohen on Unsplash

Do you ever just lay in bed and have the greatest ideas?

Liliana Owen, Journalist

I had the most ridiculous epiphany when I was about seven.

I remember the moment as if it was crystallized in time. As if it was yesterday. I was laying in my bed —I had the top in a bunk bed. I was in the bedroom that my sister now has for her own. The wall color, if I remember correctly –this is the one fuzzy detail—was a tannish yellow, a rather hideous color. I was facing the window. The day outside was going to be beautiful.

I stared up at the off-white ceiling and wondered who I should pretend to be for that day. Then a shocking realization came into my mind, “I don’t have to pretend to be anyone. I am good enough just as I am. My worth is not determined each day by how well I do in acting as someone else.”

It was literally the most freeing thing. That day, and for many days after that, I was flying. I walked, but my feet never touched the ground. I did my chores, but my mind was above them. My head was in the clouds, my heart so full of joy I thought it would burst.

Back Story

Okay, I’m sure you’re a little confused right now. You’re thinking, “I don’t have to pretend to be someone else? Duh!” But my young self had decided that I had to pretend to be someone each day. I made a rule that I couldn’t be myself. And when I make a rule for myself, it’s set in stone, as unbreakable as anything. Far more unbreakable than the laws of the land. Far more unbreakable than the laws of physics.

So each morning, I would wake up, stare at the ceiling, and decide who I was going to pretend to be. I didn’t get out of bed –except maybe on Christmas morning– until I had decided who I was going to pretend to be. Usually, I pretended to be someone from The Sound of Music, a musical I was completely obsessed with. Sometimes, it was someone from a book or a girl I knew from church services.

So for about a year, maybe more, maybe less, I was never myself. I was always pretending to be someone else. So my epiphany was literally life-changing. It was freeing.

But It’s For More Than Imaginative (And Extremely Foolish) Seven-Year Olds

You might be saying, “Duh!” right now and I won’t blame you! You don’t, and I don’t, have to pretend to be someone else, and making a rule about that is a very dumb thing to do.

But how many of us actually live true to ourselves? How many of us have never pretended to be someone we weren’t so the new kid/really cute person of the other gender would like us? So our parents would stop telling us to be more like our sister/brother?

How many of us have kept quiet when we knew the answer in class because we didn’t want to look “smart?” And how many of us haven’t asked the teacher to clarify something because we don’t want to look “dumb?”

The Challenge: Your Path To Awesomeness

We are all geniuses. Some are a bit more smooth-cut than others, but we’re all diamonds in the rough. So right now, I want to challenge all WA and LAU students to be themselves. To be who they really are. Let’s not be afraid to be different Let’s not pretend we’re someone who we are not.

I’m asking all students to stand up and participate in a revolution -a revolution against who we’re pretending to be. Let’s have a revolution of being ourselves and revolutionize our mindsets and our actions so we can be true leaders. 

Let’s be who we were born to be, and not pretend to be mediocre.