When I was born, there was a major problem with my right foot. It was totally upside down. My parents went to many doctors and they all said that nothing could be done and that I would be seriously crippled for my entire life. Finally, we found a doctor who knew of a surgery that he could try to straighten out my foot. So when I was eight months old, I went into surgery for six hours. After that, I had to have a cast on my foot for over a year, and every two weeks we would go see my orthopedic doctor. He would remove the cast with a saw and then wrench my foot into the right position. You have no idea how painful that was. I would scream and cry until I passed out. But it worked!
When I was about two, I got my cast taken off for good. The moment it was off of my foot, I stood up and walked for the first time, which all the other doctors said I would never be able to do. The only problem was that my feet were three shoe sizes apart, so when I went shoe shopping, I always had to buy two pairs of shoes (which I still have to do). Also, my right foot was always much weaker than my left.
When I was eleven years old, I started middle school. I was immediately named "the slow kid." PE teachers would get mad at me for not being able to run a mile in less then twelve minutes, which I was often teased about. The fastest mile I ever ran was probably twelve minutes and fifty-four seconds. Whenever I ran, I was always passed by the skinny, fast kids, and also by the slower, overweight kids. I was not at all overweight, so everyone just figured I was being lazy, and they teased me for that also.
I know this doesn't seem like such a big deal to you, but people at my school were very cruel and unforgiving. I became a total dork, no matter how nice I was and no matter how cool I dressed. The guys were especially horrible because they figured that since I was a girl, I was really sensitive and their idea of a fun time was making me cry.
One day, I was sitting at home, feeling sorry for myself and all of a sudden I realized that it doesn't matter what other people think of me, but it does matter what I think of myself. I know that I'm a good person and instead of trying to please others who don't even like me, I need to start liking myself. As lame as this may sound to you, liking yourself is really important. It helped a lot and my confidence and self-esteem are so much higher now. It doesn't bother me that I'm not a part of a group. I'm an individual and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.