15/365: Kickin’ It

In South Texas, leaves fall in December.  In January, they are piled up high, smelling earthy and soft.  As a child, I loved playing in the leaves, kicking them high in the air as I walked to and from school.   I loved the leaves’ fragility, their texture, the sound they made scraping across the concrete.  I loved knowing that I could kick the leaves only for a short time easy year.  Kicking leaves felt special.  As a child, it never occurred to me if anyone noticed me kicking leaves.  I simply didn’t care.

Like most people, as an adult, I have thought too much about what others think, how they’ll judge, that they’ll judge, and I have limited what I do because of that fear.  With students, I strive to demonstrate to them a person who does not shy away from controversy, difficulty, or a challenge, someone who will stand up and do what’s right … no matter the cost.  I’m not always successful at this.  I do wrong things often.  I don’t stand up when I know I should.  Sometimes I find myself going along just because it’s easy, because I fear, because I fear the consequences of standing up and challenging.  I hate that I fear.  But these are choices I make.  I can make other choices, too.

Today, I still love kicking in the leaves– without shoes, even– and without a care of what others might think.

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