My shoes squeaked on the cold, gleaming floors.
The bell rung, rattling my confidence.
Why on earth am I here?
I clutched the strap of my backpack and took a deep breath.
I had been ripped from my home of ten years,
and transplated in a whole new town with no friends,
two days before I started grade nine.
No big deal.
I could do this.
I took a deep breath and stepped into Room 217.
The room went silent.
It looked like any other classroom:
desks all in a row
standard ugly metal desk at the front
My fellow classmates were similar to the ones I left,
perhaps a little better dressed,
but the average teen.
Yet every single one of their eyes held a note of disdain.
Then I remembered…
My skin was the color of rich coffee with a dash of cream.
(I often forgot having been adopted and growing up in an all white neighbourhood…
which is a story for another time).
In front of a sea of white…
From that moment on I did everything in my power to fit in.
Mended my jeans to be super skinny.
Bought uncomfortable knock off designer shoes.
Straightened my hair.
Laughed at their jokes.
Kept my voice quieter.
It was a mark of success when I got invited to sit with them at lunch.
But my heart was like a deflated balloon.
You see, I was not happy.
I wasn’t myself.
Everything I did was an act.
I wanted so badly to fit in,
to be like everyone else.
I had forgotten the importance of…me.
The special gift of…me.
Known and knit together before I was born.
Each step planned long before I walked.
God made us all special and unique.
Each finger swirl, guffawing laugh, flamboyant hairstyle:
Unique but beautiful.
Not cookie cutters.
Coming together to form a beautiful mosaic.
Beautiful because of our differences.
So I urge you to maintain your Uniqueness,
be who God wants you to be,
and let your True Beauty shine through
(“weird” and “different” look good on you!)
And what of me in that fateful grade nine year?
I found some true friends who made me feel comfortable.
They told a joke,
and I laughed.
And long…(my sides hurt!)
And they still cared about me.
With all my uneven corners. 🙂