One day during lunch as I was talking to M I learned that his family situation was not ideal. Being from the inner Chicago area, his mother struggled to put food on the table. His younger brother consistently failed school. He was now three years behind projected. This was all because of children making fun of him for his weight. Another day while riding the bus with M, he randomly told me that whatever I do and if I ever become poor, never move my family into the ghetto. Shocked by this remark, I asked him why? He simply said, "I learn from my experiences," implying that his mother currently moved their family into the ghetto. My heart melts and feels for people who are in these circumstances, but are capable of making so much of themselves. As I may have mentioned before we were in a select academic program. By overcoming such adversity in his life, M showed me that you are always capable of working harder than before.
M is a ballerina. He is not afraid that people will make fun of him for this hobby of his, because they already do. M told me how a lot of people at his school think his weird and almost inhuman. They treat him like an alien and he usually isn't invited to the local high school parties. He seldom has a group of people to sit with at lunch. M is accepting of this. He told me he doesn't want to hang out with people that don't want him there or don't treat him right. How hard could this be? This is like a high schoolers greatest nightmare. I mean, I get upset when I'm not invited to parties I wish I was invited to, and M doesn't have a care in the world. M exemplifies this unique characteristic, I truly wish I had. I feel that sometimes I'm scared to be myself. That I almost need to change to fit in with the lunch table. This does not need to be the case. I should be able to chose the person I am and stand up for what I believe in.
After our camp one day, M invited a bunch of us to go out for a quick snack and meet some of his friends. Knowing that I had 1.5 hours to get home and my time was already down to 2.5 hours I was kind of in a rush. When we got to the restaurant they weren't even open yet. By this point I was starting to get a bit upset. Then when we finally got in, the waitress took forever to get to us. I decided not to order anything and just meet M's friends. That's when M received a text that his friends were running late and wouldn't be there for a while. I needed to catch a bus and was getting really frustrated by M and this situation, that's when I realized who I was with. What I needed to do was take a deep breath and not get upset because things happen. I did just this and left to catch my bus without having met his friends. The situation disappointed me, but there was something about the presence of M that made my inner good side come out in the circumstances that unraveled.
M and I shared multiple lunches together during the breaks of our camp. When coming back from lunch one day we were terribly late. Being the on time freak that I am, I told him to hurry up and run. M, casually told me that there was no reason to rush. We were 5 minutes late and by rushing we would only get there a minute faster. I asked him why he didn't care. M explained to me, "It's not that I do not care. It is just that there are some things in life that you cannot control. By being a control freak you are missing out on fun spontaneous and crazy adventures." I then began to walk.
On another day after class, M and I along with some fellow classmates chose to go to the beach. Being in the magnificent city of Chicago, at the Lake Michigan beach was a perfect way to end the day. None of us having brought our swim suits, M came up with an idea of going swimming in our clothes. Not really sure about this idea, knowing that I had a 1.5 hour ride home, I was a bit leery. I decided to let go though, and enjoy myself. I did something spontaneous and not planned out. With the group of us holding hands we ran into the freezing cold water. When I say freezing, I mean freezing, as it was close to the coldest water I had been into in a while. But this was so fun! Being able to splash around and let loose and not really care what others thought was a great feeling. I was allowed to be myself.