In my freshman year of high school, I remember looking down all the time. I always looked at my feet. Throughout the whole year, I remember wearing only three different pairs of shoes. One for PE and two pairs of Converse, one blue and one black.
I remember dodging the feet of countless people as I made my way to the bus, which was the farthest of all the school buses. Fortunately, the bus made its way closer and closer to my school starting sophomore year.
This year – senior year – my bus location got moved farther, close enough to where it was in my freshman year.
I remember taking the fastest route to the bus in my freshman year. I was basically unstoppable, dodging people, rocks, couples, cracks, fire hydrants – everything and anything was not an obstacle to me.
Which is why I was surprised when I tripped and nearly fell on my face in my senior year of high school.
You would think that I would’ve memorized every crack on the sidewalk and the road to the path of my bus.
But I didn’t.
As I continued walking, I soon realized why I hadn’t tripped freshman year.
I always looked down. I avoided the gaze of people. I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. All that mattered to me was my bus.
Even when I got on the bus, I still looked at my feet and learned to count the number of bus seats I had to pass in order to get to my seat. I didn’t want to look people in the eye. I didn’t want to see that there were other people on the bus, in the middle and the back (places I avoided), who might be staring at me because of… I don’t know. Some random trivial reason, I guess.
But then senior year came.
And I started looking up.
And that’s why I tripped at the crack on the sidewalk and on the next one.
But who cares?
It’s also why I started looking at people on the bus to ask for the empty seat next to them or to find a friend that I could sit and chat with.
Looking up, physically and figuratively, has its ups and downs.