Almost all of us go through a time in our lives when we will do something to get attention. Sometimes it comes from feeling like you don’t “fit” in school, or because your family doesn’t really understand you. Often at the root of this is some sort of disagreement and you feel like doing something to get back at them. Other times, it’s a way of proving something to yourself; that you can get away with whatever it is that you’re doing and that nobody can control you.
In Alex’s case, I got the impression that this wasn’t the first time she had pulled a stunt like shoplifting. She had obviously planned out how she would do it, and had me picked out as the sap that would help her get away with it (or TRY to get away with it at least). I feel uncomfortable passing judgment on Alex, because I don’t really know her all that well. I don’t know why stealing this rather insignificant piece of clothing was so important to her. Obviously, it had more to do with the act of stealing than it did with the skirt itself.
There are a number of ways that people can be noticed that don’t involve stealing, vandalizing or breaking the law. These are usually stages of people’s lives that they eventually grow out of, but if you can find a healthy alternative to vent feelings of not belonging, then you can shape the kind of person you’ll be for the rest of your life.
The most important way to deal with your problems is to talk about them. If you keep them locked up inside you, it’ll only make you feel worse about the situation and yourself. Hobbies are another good way to get out some of the angst or harsh feelings that you might have. If you can find a creative outlet such as writing, playing an instrument or drawing/painting they can help relieve some of the pent up anger you’ve got. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel if you can release these feelings creatively, rather than breaking the law or hurting someone else.
Also, keep in mind that you can be punished under the Young Offenders Act, which is effective for kids between the ages of 12 and 18. So, if you think that you just play ignorant in the belief that they can’t do anything to you until you turn 19, then you’re wrong. Though it may not involve going directly to jail, there are still Youth Detention Centers to think about. Do you really want to mess with your future like that?
I hope that Alex takes the time to read this article and that she thinks about her actions next time. Because in the end, it’s not just me that she’s hurt, she’s also harming herself.