There's a boy I noticed at the beginning of the day running 8km barefoot on sharp stones and later, eating alone at break.
In the beginning, I thought he was, well, peculiar. Coming from the world I've grown up in I'm also sad to admit that the thoughts that ran through my mind when it came to this boy were ones that would have, in the past, have gotten me a severe telling off and threats of 'getting my mouth washed out with soap and water'. As he was different to me, I was, hesitant, about conversing with him or being seen anywhere near him.
At the end of a long school day complete with loads of stressful assignments and a fun break with the grils discussing our weekend plans and make-up ideas for Saturday night's dance (I'm going with Oliver!) I put my feet up and got straight onto mxit.
Within a few short texts I managed to uncover many stories about this boy and his bare feet; people didn't seem to be very positive about him. Nor were they bothered that we had never seen him before as he was not in or around my circle of friends and so I pretended not to be bothered either, for fear of people finding out that I was in fact bothered. Angry at myself for having been so shallow as to not venture out of my circle at all this year.
I was also intrigued by the way I had seen him running that 8km barefoot, being completely himself no matter what all these people had to say about him, the way he has never tried to change himself to fit in. I'm reminded of the fact that the only I time I ever feel completely happy with myself is when I look good on the outside, when someone tells me I look good, because then you are good... right?
Throughout the week I observed from my world and the realisation struck that although we are roughly the same age, problems that seem to me like the biggest issue in the world, don't even cross his mind. This made me wonder exactly how big of a deal my issues really are.
The more I sit and thinka bout all this now, the more I begin to understand that although I will never be the type of independent person who's completely unfazed and not worried by the social demands around me, I may have learned a valuable life lesson: I will never find contentment and pure happiness in running 8km barefoot; I must find what makes me happy and run with it, no matter what everyone else is doing. You should too.