Let me tell you, boys and girls and non binaries, the Lord hath tested me as of late.
I am 18 years old, and as a result, I feel I am more comfortable with my identity than when I was 14.
I know who I am, what I want, what I like, and, as these past few weeks have proven, I am old enough not to give a single ounce of a fudge if the aforementioned don't comply to other people's tastes.
But no matter how old I get, it's hard sometimes to not let other people's opinions get inside your , and it's not everyday I feel like a ball busting finger snapping diva.
Example Number 1: My High Tops
About 2 months ago, I had a wonderful Etsy shop by the name of KaylaStojek make me a pair of custom designed, glitter monster, psychedelic, Jimmy Hendrix Experience-looking high tops.
When I got them in the mail, I. Was. Stoked.
Unfortunately, many a'folk did not share my fond sentiments towards my shoes.
Some told me they looked great,
Some kept quiet if they didn't particularly adore them (hello, manners!)
but some...well, let's just say some were less quiet.
I literally had people insulting my shoes as I walked past them in the hall. Snickering, pointing, and telling me to my face that I had one tacky pair of shoes.
To be fair, I go to school in a living, breathing J. Crew catalogue, so I expected a bit of attention, but I thought that my fellow classmates had reached a point in their lives where differing tastes and styles were celebrated and accepted.
At first, I must say, I was heartbroken.
*Cue High School Musical's "Stick To The Status Quo"
"I should have bought something more conservative, that would blend in with the crowd."
Why couldn't I just like what everyone else likes?!
But when I wore my shoes alone in my house, I felt happy.
These high tops made me happy.
I felt like myself, like a piece of my identity was being reflected out into the universe.
So why should I let beautiful inner feeling of pride in who I am wither away with the voices of strangers?
Example 2: Industrial
Yes, I got an industrial piercing (pictured left, with filter because it is still very bruised).
I have wanted this damn hanger through my ear for yeaaaaars.
But I never got it.
It wasn't the pain, or the money, or my school's dress code that stood in my way.
It was me.
I thought people would call me a poseur, an amateur, a fake.
I thought it wasn't "my style", but that's a lie. Your style is what you like, plain and simple.
I was afraid if wasn't the style that other people perceive me to have, and that bubble of conformity and security was difficult to burst.
But here's the thing. I did not have a needle pumped through my cartilage for them.
I got it for me.
I did not watch my friend (shoutout to my gurl Lubear) almost pass out from watching me get pierced so that I could pretend to be someone I'm not, no.
I got it for me.
And I freaking love it.
Oh I'm going to get some comments, no doubt, I already have.
But everyday, as I peel away the layer of skin that doesn't belong to me, that belongs to others and what they think of me, I grow stronger.
I look into the eyes of the judgement's beholder, and I smile.
Because I could not give less of a fudge.
Some may say this conversation is superficial.
But to me, it's not about the shoes, or the piercing, or the jeans, or the headband, or the haircut.
It's about being happy.
Because you know you shouldn't care what others think about you.
But God, the people who say that don't what it's like to walk through the cut throat hallways of school.
Sometimes it's just easier to blend in.
But the easier route doesn't make you happy.
It would be easier to not study hard for that test, but you want that 4.0 GPA
It would be easier to lay back and watch TV, but you still train for that marathon.
It would be easier to twiddle your thumbs all day, but you pursue your passions anyway.
So yeah, it would be easier to blend in. To let the shining star of individuality inside you fade to black.
But don't you want to be happy?
To be proud of who you are, to reflect your inner being into the universe and watch it inspire others?
|"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference".|
Have a lovely day