Our group, including our three children, boarded the ferry, eager to arrive at the Statue of Liberty. Once we landed, we walked around the bottom, and then we got in the long line of people waiting to climb up inside. We finally got to the top of the line and were next to go in when the person allowing the parties to enter announced that no more people were allowed to enter as there wouldn’t be enough time to get to the top and back down before closing. So close, so disappointed. We wished we hadn’t walked around the outside.
Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses
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Mrs. Grissom put her arm around Annie and led her outside to the little park by the side of the building. They found a bench to sit on and they sat there quietly for a few minutes. Annie was trying to calm herself down. She did her deep breathing while her mother sat quietly beside her and waited until she was ready to talk about what was bothering her. The park was actually calming despite being in the middle of such a large city.
Annie opened her eyes and looked at her mother. She wasn’t sure how to tell her mother what she was really thinking. Being reminded of how much money her parents had put out to get her and her twin sister ready to audition for a modeling agent didn’t help because she didn’t want to disappoint her parents.
Her mother spoke first, taking some of the pressure off of Annie to speak. “Annie, your father and I love you girls very much and all we want from you is to be happy. It is obvious to me, or should I say all of us, including Izzie that you are not happy. You had said your one desire in life was to be a model, but we have basically had to drag you along for the ride. Izzie is a different personality than you and that is ok, but your wanting to be just like her is not a good thing if it makes you unhappy with your life. Now I want you to tell me honestly what you want out of your life. Don’t think about all the money you dad and I put out for this modeling career. I shouldn’t have brought that up, because I want you to be happy in life and not push you even harder into a career that I don’t think you really want.”
“Mom, this isn’t easy for me, but I want to be honest with you. I don’t want to be a model. That is Izzie’s desire and I thought it would be easier for me if I followed her and then she would be by my side depending on how our modeling careers would take off. If we modeled as twins she would be the one doing the speaking and I wouldn’t have to. I am really scared of people and life in general. I have a panic attack every time I think about going to places I don’t know and there are lots of people I don’t know either. I prefer to be alone. I enjoy the peace and quiet times in my life.”
“Ok Annie, tell me now, what do you really want to do with your life?”
“I want to be a fashion designer. I want to blend colors and create personal designs for single client’s individual desires. I want to be able to design fashionable clothing that Izzie could model if she had the chance. I love to draw and work with color blending to create beautiful designs. That is my real desire in life.”
“Annie that is a great idea. Your drawing has always been beautiful. A talent that you alone have. Izzie is not a designer, but you are right, she would look beautiful modeling your designs. Just because you are identical twins doesn’t mean you have to have identical careers. When we get back home we can start to look at some schools for you when you graduate. Whether you go to one in person, which I know would be a major fear for you, or maybe we can find some kind of online program instead. I told Izzie to go ahead if her name is called. She may have gone in for her audition already. Let’s go see if she has and we can tell her the good news. She will be happy for you, you know.”
“Mom, do you think we should just wait until she is done the audition. I don’t want to upset her before it.”
“She already knows that you don’t want to really model deep down. She is ready, with or without you. If we can catch her, she will be relieved that she won’t have to be a star for both of you. Modeling will be a hard job, but she has what it takes. And you my precious child, have your own dreams to follow.”
Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses