Why I Love Junior Youth

I can see their faces, looking up to me, cigarettes in their mouth trying to look older than they are , girls clinging to the boys like their life depended on it. Trying to act tough, they come up to me and try to shock me by asking me if I can buy them weed. One of them, a boy shows me his graffitti, and it´s beautiful. Here they are, this massive group , trying to find a way to know themselves and insecure in the making.
I loved them in that moment. Even if they try to steal my bag, and look at me with disdain in that cold november day in Madrid. I know this look. Even if they are 100 times more street savvy than I ever was. It´s still the same story. They are lost, in the middle of nowhere and they are everyone´s problem but their own.
I remember, a long time ago when I was 12 how awkward it felt. All I wanted to do was get older, because I felt misunderstood. I remember speaking up in class and saying stuff that was sort of too ahead of the times, like commercials with soap and women were used to promote sexuality. And yet, I would get laughed at. No one heard my opinions. In fact, teachers would make me go up in front of the class and talk about my faults. I got my sandwich spit on everyday and the headmaster would just shrug his shoulders and say it happens.. I would be in a group and just watch them invite other people and not me.
I felt awkward, and never fit in. I had opinions, and stood up for racism, and poverty and issues. But I was laughed at because I was supposed to be caring about boys and clothes. I was told by teachers that getting ahead more if I was pretty , and I shouldn´t worry about the world.
And so, the burning desire to make the world a different place became quiet for awhile. I tried to fit in, went to ettiquette classes, pretended to be more airheaded and just care about parties. I stopped going to Bahai things for awhile ( about a couple months)…
I was tired of being different, of everyone pointing out that caring aout these things is a bad thing. But then, I went to a world conference which changed my life. I was surrounded with people from all over the world and I knew I wasn´t alone.
And I found my inner voice…quiet at times.
But, even so, the scars of being let down, of being silenced stayed with m,e to this day. I want to let the jy know, that out there someone cares, that they will and can make a difference, and can transform the world. I do it for that young girl who no one cared about an opinion, I do it for all those who have gone on to do amazing things, I do it for love of God. But I don´t know if it even will make a difference. But all I can do is try.

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