My Odyssey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   The 1989 "Walk For Hunger" was the greatest odyssey I've ever been on. Three school friends and I left town at 7 a.m., so we could return to Boston in time to make the twenty-mile trip to neighboring towns before 6 p.m.

During our eight hours of walking, we saw an interesting array of people: hippies, headbangers, rappers, muffies, snobs, losers, spaceshots, girl scouts, and a few people who were absolutely too bizarre to categorize.

When we began our journey down Beacon Street, we tried to find a comfortable place amidst 34,996 others in the walk line. I had bent over to tie my sneaker when I was startled by a blaring ghetto blaster. At this time our section of the line was moving to the beat of the Funky Cold Medina.

As we continued, everyone moved at his own pace, and the groups of surrounding walkers gradually began to change. The next group we came upon looked as if they were imported directly from Woodstock. They had peace necklaces, long hair , the works. They were walking and singing and looked as if they were having a great time simply enjoying the 75-degree weather. If only everyone in the world could be that happy, I'm sure the world would be a much nicer place.

Unfortunately, not all the lucky cards were in our hand that day. The next group we neared was Brownie Troop 847 of the Girl Scouts. At first I thought it would be an annoying to have 20 half-sized legs walking in front of us, but I was mistaken. We should all tune into the conversation of a bunch of 7-year-olds every so often. I felt very out of touch hearing them discuss Saturday morning's latest cartoons and I had no clue what they were talking about. (This is coming from the former Cartoon Princess, who rose at the crack of dawn to make sure not one cartoon was missed. Nowadays someone has to wake me to make sure that the Saturday is not missed.)

I was quietly reminiscing about the last 8 miles as we reached Newton Corner, thinking, I have seen it all , All the weirdos, all the nuts. Well, bite my tongue was the next thought that raced through my confused mind. The next group was a little difficult to identify at first because they weren't conducting any sort of conversation. They were staring at the pavement. I felt sorry for these people. They looked as if it was time for a fill up at the self-esteem station. They looked hurt, like they weren't important. They needed more self-confidence. I was hurting for them. I was hurting badly. Then I thought about it and I realized I hurt because deep inside, in several places, I was like all of those people I passed: rhythmic, like the rappers; ready to improve the world, like the hippies; youthful, like the Brownies; and occasionally low-down like the losers.

Although this odyssey was not meant to be a search for identity, in a way, it was. My identity was searching for me to let me know that there are others like me in some ways, but no one is exactly like me, for I am special.

That was six hours ago. I have been thinking about myself for six hours and I have come upon other kinds of people who represent different pieces of my identity. Today was very special. I doubt that I shall ever forget it.n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 5:14 pm
i love this so much!
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