I’ve been thinking a lot about the way people express themselves and what means the most to them. Walking around Union it is possible to see all different types of expression with each student that passes by. Everyone has their own styles, their own haircuts, their own cool accessories or way of greeting one another. I like to peoplewatch around campus in order to see just how people behave and how they display their inner workings to the outside world. Human beings are incredibly expressive people (for the most part) and therefore incredibly interesting to observe. I’m not saying that I go around spying on people or eavesdropping, but if I happen to overhear something or see someone walk into Reamer with a green mohawk I will take note of it. All of these individual experiences are carefully filed away in my brain in order to reference later. Recently I’ve even started using my journal as a sort of creative outlet. I use pictures and occasional words from magazines, newspapers, ads, etc. to form collages that express my feelings of the world at large, poems, my views on style, beauty, emotions, food, travel destinations, and a barrage of other topics. Often times the journal helps me de-stress at the end of a lengthy and taxing day.
But getting back to the topic at hand. I think it has taken me twenty years to figure out how I want to express myself, and, to be honest, I am still learning. When I was younger I used to follow what everyone else did, usually without asking questions. I had no idea what I believed in and how I wanted to represent myself to the outside world. When I began to think for myself and create my own identity I think I didn’t really know where to begin. So I took bits and pieces from my friends, my family members, and what I’d seen/read in magazines, on t.v., and novels and combined them with a quirky edge to make me. It took a long time to figure myself out to this extent, especially with the road blocks of puberty. Even now I don’t have the strongest grasp on myself as a whole. I am constantly changing and evolving in so many different areas that it can be very confusing, but I believe I do have a hold on my core details, my core preferences, and my core morals/values. And that makes all the difference. These days I dye my hair a million colors, wear anything comfortable and pretty that I desire (above all fuzzy socks), get the piercings and tattoos I’ve dreamed of getting, and let my true self shine just as it was always meant to.
What I am trying to get at here is that it is okay to be confused about yourself. You don’t have to have every detail mapped out. That would make life absolutely no fun. As long as you understand what is nested deep inside of you, the basic elements of your being, you can continue to grow and change in little but significant ways over these upcoming years. It’s okay to express yourself in ways that contradict your friends or family. It’s okay to dye your hair bleach blonde or jet black if that’s what you like. Or wear clothes that you find irresistibly wonderful that may not be what everyone else is currently wearing. You’re your own person and that allows you to be whoever you want to be. That may just be the guy with the bulky army jacket or the girl covered in tattoos. If you like it, do it.
(But don’t murder or abuse others, animals, or yourself. That is just abominable on every level).