At the tender age of seven I had a nice little life going. I attended the local public school, where I was friends with everyone. I even started a club called The Pudding Club (from the fact my mom always packed chocolate pudding in my lunch, much to the envy of my peers). I fit in. Life was bliss.

Then I started third grade in a new school. A private school. A school full of lawyers’ and doctors’ kids. We all had to wear uniforms. One would think that would have been a great equalizer. But I wore my favorite pair of shoes: a pair of yellow high top converse.

Banana Feet herself

The snickers started right on the first day. By week’s end I was officially Banana Feet. For reasons I don’t remember, I embraced it. All my papers hanging up in the hall proudly were made by Banana Feet. But I was just getting started.

By the start of fourth grade I proclaimed my new name was Super Nerd. I was from Mars and spent the day talking spaceships with the boys. Another girl in my class decided she was Super Potato Head, and she became my constant sidekick.

I never fit in with most of those kids, and for that I am glad. I refused to fit into the mold and stuck to my true self. The lesson learned: don’t just go with the crowd. Think for yourself.

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