The Uncommon App: Who am I?

Graphic by Isabella Xie

By Michelle Sandler

Newton South High School Class of 2016

Prompt: Who are you?

Who am I?

I am numbers and letters. I am five As in a row; I am M-I-C-H-E-L-L-E with middle initial A; I am 01-24-1998; I am 2140 made from 690-700-750; I am the 99% that should have been one hundred.

I am more than bubbles hurriedly shaded in on a scantron sheet.

I am “Michelle” like the Beatles song, Sandler like Adam, middle name Anne spelt the proper way, A-N-N-E, and when you ask me if by proper I meant correct or respectable I will tell you I meant both.

I am the atheist whose name means “who is like God.”

I am somewhere in between how I perceive myself and how others perceive me. I am a collection of labels: the actress, the smart one, the flirt, the girl with the nut allergy, the skinny, pale brunette in the faux-leather jacket.

I am my voice, its own eclectic mixture of tenor and soprano; my laugh transitions from a deep chuckle to a girlish giggle in a matter of seconds.

I am lip trills and weird noises and meowing song lyrics instead of singing them. I am sitting with my legs open and drinking with my pinky up. I am lace crop tops and thick turtleneck sweaters. I am red lipstick and winged eyeliner and pearl earrings and combat boots.

I am the road less traveled. I am opening bananas from the bottom. I am cucumber slices decorated with cream cheese. I am raspberry tea and egg-with-marmite sandwiches. I am creative, a risk-taker, the girl who presents a skit instead of a powerpoint. 

I am the girl that you knew in high school who always had a clever comeback, appearing confident and strong. I’m the one who never went to school unkempt, makeup, outfit, and smile carefully placed until I was home, mask removed, wondering if they flirted during class because they liked me or to pass the time, if my grades were good enough, if anything was ever good enough for a perfectionist like myself.

I am procrastination, over-analyzation, unrealistic expectations. I am writing music in my sleep and screenplays in the shower.

I am over-thinking. I am nights spent wondering about my identity, about who I will be in five, 10 years, about what makes a person special, about the letters and the numbers, realizing that I am more than female, Caucasian, half South-African, from Newton, Class of 2016, bisexual, aspiring actor, also interested in biotechnology.

I am the little things, the love of long car rides, the ability to find the humor in any situation, the way I always touch the tip of my tongue to the underside of my front right tooth when I’m thinking.

I am the note I made on my iPhone describing who I am incase I ever need reminding. I am the girl staring back at myself in the mirror with all the answers whenever I feel the need to ask the question:

Who am I?