I like to think I know myself pretty well. I think that even the new things, characteristics, mannerisms and bad habits that I will gain in the future, I will know pretty well too. However, I never stopped to think about any possible past lives.

When I was little, I used to look in the mirror and wonder if I would be pretty. I would look deep into my own eyes and wish and wish that I’d turn out beautiful. But I never wondered if I was ever beautiful before, or at the time.

I imagine that in a past life, I was everything that I’m not now. In my head, a past self needs to have qualities and faults that my present self doesn’t because what’s the fun in being a similar person again? The good and bad need to vary, otherwise, it’d be quite boring.

My past self is a boy. I think his name is Maurice. He’s from a small town in England that you wouldn’t know about unless you have a reason to. He is good at math and ridiculously patient. Maurice only speaks one language. He lives in an even whiter England than what it is today.

He hates that some of the people in his school are bilingual, but that’s just because he is jealous. He wants to speak a secret language too.

Maurice doesn’t have any friends. He likes to be alone. He likes to eat alone. He likes to play alone. He finds the other children too loud and too teary.

One day, a girl in his class asked him if he liked anybody.

“Like? Like who?”

“Like anyone in the class” she replied.

“I don’t think so.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah” he confirmed.

“Okay…” she didn’t seem very pleased.

Maurice didn’t understand what she meant but he knew that above all, he didn’t really care.

No one at school sparked his interest. They were alright but nothing more. His feelings were mostly neutral about a lot of things in life.

He didn’t care if the swing was taken on break, he was fine with either that or the monkey bars. He didn’t fuss about having mashed potatoes or chips for
dinner. Unlike most kids his age, being bratty didn’t come naturally to him. He accepted all things with ease. He was complacent, and it didn’t bother him.

People thought Maurice was dull and they were right. But again, that didn’t bother him. He just didn’t care about what people thought of him. And for that, I truly admire Maurice. Sometimes I wish I could be more like him.

But Maurice lived in a different era. He was someone else. With a diverse set of good and bad things that I don’t have and maybe never will. And that’s okay, that’s the beauty of it. Maurice is a chill, stand-offish boy whose mind is able to do multiplications in ways I couldn’t. Yet, I’m an ill-tempered, loving girl who has a knack for the arts.

It’s okay to be Maurice and it’s okay to be Laura. But, most importantly, it’s okay to be different and true to who you are.

By Laura T., 22, São Paulo, Brazil