REDEFINED: Things I Wasn’t Born With

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This story is a part of Lit Mag: The REDEFINED issue.


Instead of focusing on traits people have had since birth, I decided to focus on things that showed up on people during their life, something that had a story behind it. I interviewed a number of people, coming across scars, freckles, tattoos, piercings, and dyed hair. Every individual person was very different but also alike – the stories were all so personal and interesting to hear. Personally, I have scars on my body that I always try to hide. When people point them out, I cover myself and deny they’re there at all. Growing up in a society that is based around being normal and fitting in, some people try to hide any differences they have. Things I Wasn’t Born With was a way to let myself, along with others, know that my differences make me more human and more normal.


Ysa Metke, 14, has sun freckles and a ton of little dots that she’s tattooed onto her left arm. When she was younger, she was ashamed of her freckles and often wondered how she’d look without them – if she’d look more normal, and if that’d make her prettier. Ysa’s come to embrace them now. She sometimes “gets into creative moods” and tries to tattoo herself, as a little act of rebellion against societal norms.

“I thought, ‘I can do this myself!’ I couldn’t. I tried to do a heart on my middle finger, and man was it ugly.”


Hugo De La Torre, 11, dyed his hair pink at the beginning of the year.

“I was bored of brown hair. I looked weird with it. With pink hair, I express myself and who I am.”

Some people may think he’s weird or awkward because of his hair, but he doesn’t care. He is able to express himself and who he is, and nobody’s opinion gets in the way of his confidence.


Finbar LaBelle, 15, has tinnitus. He describes his experience as the constant ringing after-effect of being too close to a firework but dulled down.

Since he’s had it nearly his entire life, he is used to it, but a struggle he faces is knowing that he will never hear silence, something I’d never thought of before.  

William Buckley, 16, has a scar on his chin that he’s had since he was 3. It was strange because I hadn’t noticed it until he pointed it out, even though I see him every day.

Will got the scar when he was running up an elevator that was moving down, like many people try to do. He fell and the stair cut into his chin, leaving the scar there today. His dad didn’t get it stitched up since nobody would see it, which nobody has.


Ella Drennan, 14, told me the story behind the scar above her left eyebrow. Ella is one of my best friends, and I’ve seen the scar, but I never knew the story behind it. When she was five, she was at a wedding with a piñata and the groom accidentally hit her in the face. I couldn’t help but laugh.

When I asked her about if it has changed her, she said jokingly, “It made my eyebrows really uneven. Probably lowered my self-confidence”


I am a problem solver, as well as a nurturing, dedicated person interested in helping those around me.  I hope to become a pediatrician one day. I enjoy making doctor visits a positive experience for children. I am fascinated by and excel in my math and science classes, and I always love to spend time with little kids and get away from the big bad world, living in their’s for just a bit. Being a pediatrician is about more than being able to have fun with their patients. It requires many skills that I’m excited to learn.

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