Thursday, April 14, 2011


For the most part, I like to think of myself as a nonconformist. I listen to obscure music (think Doctor Who-themed Chameleon Circuit, which you should totally check out if you happen to be a fan of the Doctor, by the way), wear classic Chucks with my Sari dress, and have crazy frizzy hair that I don't bother to straighten. But as it turns out...I was wrong. Last year was the first time I heard about One Day Without Shoes, the TOMS-inspired day which is exactly what it sounds like: a day to go around barefoot and raise awareness about the need of kids in countries like South Africa and Honduras that don't have shoes. It's an awesome idea and I really wanted to do it last year, put it bluntly, I chickened out. What I said was that I hadn't gotten the high school's okay to show up without shoes, but what I meant was, I was too dang terrified to not wear shoes. Which is, y'know, ridiculous. But I'll get to that later. So this year, as I am doing dual-enrollment at the local community college (which will remain unnamed to make sure you don't stalk me or anything), I decided to go for it! The morning of, I put on my jeans and flannel shirt, grabbed my backpack and...left! I did it! However, the scene in my bedroom before I left was sitcom, material. I kept going back and forth: I want to go barefoot. But what if my professor kicks me out of class? So what? It's for a good cause. But...I have perfect attendance! They won't even notice--professors don't look at feet. People will looookkk at meeee! That's because you're barefoot, sweetheart. Besides, it's a good cause. Just go, already! And I went. *Cue laughtrack and applause.* This is a little embarrassing to even type out. Here I was, thinking I was so different, inspired, and carefree and I almost couldn't even show up to class without shoes. I don't know what my deal was. After all, not wearing shoes is sort of like not wearing sleeves or gloves, except...not really. But the point is, shoes are an article of clothing that should be optional. How was I supposed to call myself nonconformist while freaking out over a clothing article? Let me tell you, it was a bit of an eye-opener. Then I realized...I'm a Christian. My views COMPLETELY contradict with most of the world's. I live life for God, or at least try to. But if I was worrying about people staring at my naked feet, what would I do if someone challenged my beliefs? Or got mad at me for talking about "religion?" What then? I hope that I would stand up for God and myself and just be different. But honestly, until last week, I don't know if I would have. If it hadn't been for One Day Without Shoes, I doubt if I would have noticed my conformity and had a chance to challenge it.
So here's to individualism, self-confidence, oh...and bare feet.

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