How Do People See Me?

Alonso Torres ParedonesAugust 31, 2023

As I enter a room full of strangers
I try my best to act calmly,
But inside, I'm filled with danger.
What if they don't like me?
What if I say something wrong?
What if I mess up?
What if I get judged?
What if I make myself look like a fool?
What if people laugh at me?
What will I do?
I ask myself.
Heart racing, palms sweaty,
Entering a room full of strangers,
Self-doubt consuming, fear of rejection,
Envy for those at ease, effortlessly mingling.
Wishing for confidence, to feel at ease,
Not letting fears control,
But for now, one step at a time,
Introducing oneself to just one person.
Small steps count, every effort matters,
Overcoming anxiety and uncertainty,
Breaking the ice with a simple question,
Someday, walking into a room with ease.
Remembering it's okay to be nervous,
Acknowledging everyone feels unsure,
Growing more robust with each interaction,
Finding comfort in one's own skin.
The fear of rejection consumes me,
And I feel like I don't belong.
I envy those who seem at ease,
In social situations like these.
But for me, it's a constant battle,
To keep my anxious thoughts at bay.

I wish I could be more courageous.
And not let my fears control me.
But for now, I'll take it one step at a time,
And I hope that someday I'll be free.

Alonso Torres Paredones is a seventh grader in San Pablo, California. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his dog Maxx, playing baseball and soccer, and pursuing photography and art. He hopes to be an immigration lawyer, a vet, or a journalist when he grows up.