There’s a bit in my textbook about how adolescents tend to try on a couple identities before they find the one that they decide to choose for their lifespan, and it’s usually a combination of a couple past choices.
In my late teens, this drove me mental.
I had a love/hate relationship with watching a movie, or reading a book and thinking that’s totally me. This is who I’m supposed to be for the rest of my life, and then living that lifestyle until the next personality came along and I found myself abandoning all prior beliefs to implement new ones. It was exhausting.
I’ve been the pretty in pink girl, the drug addict, the protopunk, the wallflower, Stevie Nicks, and the loner rebel, and I always found myself loving all of those personas so passionately and vividly for such a short time, disappointed when I found none of them really stuck.
Over time, I began to doubt who I was as a person. Whenever I got really excited about a new outlook on life, I wouldn’t allow myself to get fully invested, thinking that I’m just going through the motions, and soon enough it would be over… so why even start?
Some of these influences on my life stuck longer than others, I dressed like a gypsy for a little over a year and I fucking loved it, I never left the house without a bell sleeve or a floral design no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. But eventually that, too, receded.
And what followed, was this weird no-name subscription I am currently in.
For the first time since possibly childhood I don’t base my behaviours off a character, or a concept, or a belief. It’s more just, actions that I choose to do and the identity that exposes itself based off these actions.
I started to paint, use more colour in my life. I started wearing slacks, because they’re damn comfortable. I stopped worrying about who I would run into on the street, or if my makeup was good enough that I could run into said people confidently. I guess I started regarding myself as less of a character, more of a human being.
I’m no longer thinking; how can I word my sentences to seem like _______.
I’m no longer wondering; what should I wear to reflect the fact that ________.
I’m no longer trying to be anyone other than what I am. Which has its downsides, without doubt. Because I’m learning that as much as I want to censor myself and seem like the brooding, mysterious type, my mouth likes to open and form words and I shouldn’t silence that (to an extent). I’m also learning that I’m incapable of being the gypsy woman that I was at all times of the day, because sometimes it’s nice to just put on a t-shirt and jeans and go get coffee.
I’m incapable of being a cute, polite little girl because to decide that I’m innocent would be a false presumption and I deserve to be honest with myself, positive or negative.
But, alone with those things I am realizing that I’m now comfortable having lazy days,I’m not judgemental. I’m comfortable trying new things, like watercolour painting or wearing weird bubblegum pink trousers because I’m not putting any judgement on what I’m doing, as long as I’m comfortable. I’m more curious as to why I do/act the way I do, and oddly enough, when I do fuck up, I’m able to confront myself and try and figure out why.
And suddenly I thought, I could live this way, this is actually me. This is not a phase.
Something about it felt different than all the other times. It felt correct.
I encourage everyone to take a minute and think about who you are underneath it all, be kind to yourself, allow your Self to breathe, and take a walk– figuratively or literally. Have interactions and think about them. Watch the way you strut when you’re uninhibited, unbothered by who you’re supposed to be.
What are you wearing? Are you in sweatpants and a ripped t-shirt? Or a pencil skirt and button up? Or perhaps a leopard romper? Are you covered in tattoos? Are you smiling at the people that pass or doing a more meditative walk?
If you did this figuratively, make it reality. If you did this literally, did you like it?
Maybe this could be you. And if it is, thats brilliant. Don’t ever be afraid to say ‘this isn’t a phase’.