Permission Granted

When I was a kid, I always felt compelled to play by the rules. I walked throughout the elementary school hallways when I wanted to run, waited for my parents to sort out my Halloween candy into rations before diving head deep into my pillowcase full of tootsie rolls, and even tried my best to control my self-expression (talking) throughout a decade and a half of schooling. Whenever I deviated from the particular socially accepted etiquette, I felt uncertain and uncomfortable.

As I got older, I noticed that many of the kids around me were breaking all sorts of rules. In the midst of the most awkward years of my life, middle school, bullying started to show its face. Cliques began to form and rebellion felt like a natural form of expression for others. Yet, I still was too damn chicken-shit to participate. I can still remember how I felt when I was sent to the principal for being part of a ‘food fight’ in 4th grade. My food fight participation had more to do with fitting in as I sneakily tossed my empty Yoo-hoo box across the cafeteria.

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