Who am I? A question I have posed to myself more than once in this lifetime. A question that usually, when no simple conclusion is immediately formed, results in some drastic changes like a bad haircut, some weird tattoo, or worst… in bangs.
We all have endured some form of an identity crisis — some of us handle them rationally, others, not so much. (Cough, bangs, cough).
I couldn't even begin to explain why being able to understand yourself wholesomely is this grand ordeal in society, or where the pressure to be able to place yourself in one category derives from. Why can't being a giant, whacky mixture of categories suffice? It should. No one is this cookie cutter version of a human. The world is not just black and white — it is far more colorful and far more complicated.
You should be able to change your hair color without having to overthink it. You should be entitled to getting whatever pierced or tatted without it being "basic," "trashy" or "not age appropriate." If I drink this whole bottle of wine, will people think I have a problem? Is this shirt too low cut — does this mean I look like a slut? I can't eat that whole plate of cheese fries, even though I really want to, it's our first date? What would he think? PUT ON THE BREAKS LADIES.
Yes, these are all questions I have thought to myself — questions I sincerely think everyone at some point in time has asked themselves. At least, I hope I'm not the only girl who had to hold herself back from inhaling Outback's cheese fries on her first date.
But seriously, when were all these arbitrary rules established on how to look and how to live your life?
I've always thought the sole purpose for us even existing was this giant path to self-discovery, and trying new things — some of those things you like and work for you and sure, some just don't. When did it stop being so simple? (I think the actual answer to this question is, like, middle school?) When did I start caring so much about what others thought? I become so involved in my own head and self-destructing thoughts that I scare myself into ever making a change.
Even if I might enjoy or benefit from this change. When did I grow so concerned with how others think of me that it literally keeps me from doing things that I want to do? It's true that you are your own worst enemy, no doubt about that. Sound familiar? Last call for tickets on the "I'm just trying to live my best life" express! All aboard!
I suppose the purpose of this article is to remind those struggling with a temporary or even a long-lasting identity crisis that it's OK to not know who you are. It's OK to be an odd mixture of people or "labels" rolled into one wonderful, beautiful person. There is no one person like the other- and it is perfectly fine to change something about yourself for the right reasons. To try something new. This is how we learn who we are, what we like, what we don't like, who we want to be and who we don't want to be. Trial and error is your friend, not the enemy.
Point being, stop worrying about how others perceive you and focus on how you perceive yourself. Experimenting equals living.
It's just hair — it will grow back.
They're just bangs — we have headbands now.
It's just a tattoo — wear it proudly.
Drink the whole damn bottle of wine and scarf down those beautiful cheese fries!
You're just you and you're supposed to be an awkward blend of this chaotic world. This is a lesson I must learn too. A lesson that requires time, patience and practice. No speech, movie, or even article can alter the way we view ourselves. We have to find it from within and remind ourselves to live for US, not for those around us.
It is a beautiful thing to have lived fearlessly, and not flawlessly.