Traverse City Record-Eagle

Generation Why

December 7, 2010

Perfecting the art of posturing

"I might have to wait, I'll never give up. I guess it's half timing and the other half's luck." Over Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet," turned up so that the harmony ricochets throughout my room, I wonder if luck is directly proportionate to the amount of mascara I put on.

I decide that I'll never know unless I try, shrug, and apply more.

Paired with a deep purple top, the mascara helps bring out the green in my eyes. Which is precisely what I was going for.

My eyes are capricious, never deciding on a color: grey, blue, hazel, green — a mood ring of sorts. But I like green the best. Green is fresh; green is pure; green is envy.

But not on its own.

The eyes may be the gateway to the soul, but the clothes are the bright colored petals decorating the flower. There for one specific purpose: attraction.

With this in mind, I pick articles to highlight certain aspects of my appearance. Things to flaunt a hint of curve here, maybe even a touch of skin there. A very classy Clinton Kelly kind of look.

Perfect.

However, it's not enough to just look enticing, the movements must also be perfected. A curious glance his way, a flip of the hair, a lingering smile. Every sly little thing whispering, 'How you doin'?'

All very subtle.

All extremely exciting.

And all so new.

The flutter in my stomach when he looks my way and the pounding in my chest when he looks again: a bold statement that I simply cannot ignore.

In the past six months I have found myself straightening my hair to go to the store. Doing double, sometimes triple checks in the mirror before going to the beach. Even practicing my smile when washing my hands. The weirdest thing is, I don't even notice that I'm doing it.

People say that high school is the time of your life. I hadn't the slightest idea what they were talking about until recently. It's all about being young; being boisterous.

I have always been this way, my own person, though when I was in elementary and even middle school, I didn't care who recognized it. I do now. That's what's getting me places. If I never put myself out there, no one would realize what a catch I am.

Without showing myself off, I would not have joined the debate team as an eighth-grader.

I would not have succeeded in AP Biology as a sophomore.

And I certainly would not have received information from more than 25 colleges in 15 different states.

I know that if I don't continue what I'm doing, opportunities will surely pass me by. There will be no more Most Valuable Debater trophies and no more letters starting, "Dear Emaly, We are so glad that you are interested in our university." Accolades that I most definitely do not want to end.

And I am not going to let them.

So, as I go to leave my room, I look back at myself and smile; I am ready to face the world.

Emaly Panek is a junior at Elk Rapids High School.

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