Value is a wide-range of self-conception. How you see the world reflects on you. How you view it, how you think about it, how you feel about it, will all influence how you are as a person. And no one would know who you are until you show them how you see the world, but that turns out to be very complicated. Showing them who you are, how you work, how every part of you connects, it’s like showing them your soul. It’s showing them who you truly are, and it’s terrifying. It’s showing them parts of you that you aren’t even sure of, yet. And voicing all the questions in your head, afraid of sounding stupid or ridiculous, or voicing the thoughts that sprout the insecurity within you, the thoughts that scare you. Everyone grows up with the fear of being themselves, showing themselves, without even knowing who they are. Growing up, you’re still trying to build yourself up, building up your views, discovering yourself, exploring yourself, struggling with the change in your beliefs, and the world, trying to create your own opinions and observations, figuring out how you fit into the world. So, yeah, it’s scary. Imagine being in a pitch black room, and you can’t even feel anything yet, except the ground beneath your feet. The only thing you feel is the cold, tiled floors underneath you. And you have to move, you have to find a way out of that room, because you can’t see, or feel, or hear anything and you know nothing about what’s in it with you. So, you walk, and you’re trying to find a steady path, all while trying to find your way out into light and freedom. But, in order to find that path, you’re going to step on the things you can’t see that lie on the floors, and you’re going to feel with your hands around you as you walk, and feel things you don’t know of, and you’re going to strain your ears for sounds and hear whispers you can’t quite make out into words.

It’s confusing, isn’t it? It would be confusing, and difficult, and frustrating. It’s painful, and scarring, and troubling. That’s life. That’s figuring out who you are. That’s trust. That dark room is every question you don’t have the answers to about the world and everyone living in it and everything you don’t know about yet. Every wonder, every feeling, is all a dark room. And showing someone how lost you are, showing them how dark that room is, letting them be in that dark room with you, it’s all terrifying. But, all at the same time, that dark room is in your head. Every question you have, every scary thought, every confusing wonder about yourself, is all in your mind. They all don’t exist. They are weightless, volume-less, breaths of air. Yet, they are the heaviest weight in the world, and scream in volume, and they are everything you look at. How it all works, it’s all part of self-conception, and you don’t even know it.


V is a 17-years-young senior at John I Leonard High School, and sees herself to be “an open-minded person with a careful and free spirit.” Show and Heal is grateful for her contributions to our Snapchat account (@ShowandHeal) as she “hopes to create a safe place for our students to learn and speak out.”