Editor's Note: The Cost of Fitting in is like Wearing too Tight Shoes, It Hurts.

 I wear a size 10 in women’s shoes. I have big feet, it runs in my family. For many years I bought size 9 ½ shoes to avoid wearing the 10, until I got a corn on my toe and my mom bought me a cute pair of size 10 shoes that fit perfectly. She and my grandma told me that if I kept wearing tight shoes, in near the future I would have to get my toe cut off. I wasn't sure if they said that to scare me, but I didn't want to find out. After a few more attempts of wearing a size down, I finally decided to wear my correct size and accept the truth, I have big feet. 


Like wearing tight shoes, trying to fit in with the wrong crowd can make you feel uncomfortable and can cause pain. I remember when I went on to high school after middle school ( tired of being bullied), I started hanging out with the "cool kids". We would skip class, smoke, drink, and all of these things seemed fun at first but got me into trouble. 

Later on, some of the people that I hung out with in high school had children at a young age, dropped out of school, some went to jail and some have even passed on. Thankfully, I had my mom and grandma's guidance and a circle of their friends around me who helped to steer me in the right direction. Some of you may not have that same circle, but people like that are out there and if you stay on the right path, you will meet them. I am one of them and I want to help encourage you so you won't follow in my path.  You are loved and beautiful just the way you are. With your silliness, quirks, and all. 

Fitting in doesn't last and it will only cause you pain in the end. For advice or encouragement for the new school year, I would love for you to email me your questions or concerns at livinglovingencouraging@gmail.com. I have been in your shoes and want to share my story to help you remain to be yourself. All emails will be kept anonymous.

-Be Encouraged,