Before I get to the meat of this post, I know I owe at least three updates: the rest of LambJam 2010 (I can’t believe I haven’t updated since the second day of it!), the mosque controversy, and why less people are declaring themselves Christians than before. However, I’m terrible at following through with planned entries that I’ve started, but maybe soon I’ll get inspiration for those. Until then, enjoy some reflective rambling.
Ever since I became ‘aware’ of myself, I guess the onset of puberty and all that — which makes sense, since aside from growing taller a whole bunch of things start changing all at once — and when I have too much time on my hands, I think about ‘me.’ What makes me ‘me’? What is my personality? Writing “About Me”s never seems to answer that for me, and I usually just end up having fact-vomit spewed all over the little box.
It seems like whenever I used to hang out with friends I mimicked them, acted like them, used their phrases, and even took on an imitation of their handwriting for a while. And I used to use handwriting as the best example of how I didn’t really know what my own personality was; I changed personalities as I changed handwriting while I tried to figure myself out. Does that make sense? Well, it does to me. Whatever.
In the transition from middle school to high school, a lot changed. After going to the same school for nine years, in the Birmingham City school system, where the biggest change was from fifth to sixth grade but even then a lot of the same students carried over, I was now thrown into the Jefferson County school system. I knew only three other students from my days at WJC, none of whom I ever really talked to (sorry for the bad sentence structure).
But the biggest change for me wasn’t the lack of people I knew, but rather the lack of uniforms. From the time I was seven and in second grade, to thirteen and in the eighth grade, I was victim to the B’ham City-mandated “white shirt/navy or black pants/skirts/shorts” uniform. So, even though there was a bit of leeway with the style of the pants, shirts (sort of), or skirts, it was still very, very restrictive; therefore, I didn’t have to think about what to wear. But in high school, I got to choose. It was something that made me ecstatic at first — the ability to choose what I wanted to wear (within a reasonable dress code)! What freedom! — but quickly I learned that I had NO sense of style.
But I never really gained it. Sure, I went and bought some Hollister sweatpants (which are still some of the most comfortable pants I’ve ever owned) and a jacket that quickly became too small for me, some perfume, and some more “in” clothes, but I never really grew out of feeling like the best outfit for me was a t-shirt, jeans and/or sweatpants, and sneakers, and a hoodie for winter. However, one of my high school friends told me once that I, and I quote verbatim since it was in text form: “have better taste as concerning individuality than most girls, i.e. you have style, which is hard to find these days.”
So, I guess style is what you make it. I’ve never done anything drastic, like dye all my hair pink, or pierce every part of my face (or even any part of my face, but that’s not really drastic, that’s pretty common now). But I guess I do have my own ‘style.’
As for my personality, I don’t really believe that anyone should change personality completely depending on who you’re around. And I’ve been better about staying true to myself. It’s been a hard thing for me to do, and sure, I tweak myself a little bit probably even subconsciously if someone’s really different from me, but never drastically. I never change my sense of humor or my way of talking, or whatever. At least, I don’t think I do. I hardly wear makeup, a) because I’m lazy, and b) because I want people to see me. And I know makeup doesn’t necessarily cover someone’s face up completely, but my opinion has always been one like, if I’m going to date someone, or even just be friends with someone, they’ve gotta like me for me — not me with foundation + powder on me, and not me pretending to be what they like.
So, I guess this entry is somewhat pointless in that no revelation is reached or no “new shit has come to light” or simply nobody really gives a crap about how I feel about me. But, I like me, and college has really helped me grow out of my shell (at least, relatively — most of the people I’ve met in college tell me “you’re not shy!” but they don’t know just how hard it is for me to not be) and become comfortable in my own skin, in my own personality, even in my own weird — and sometimes vulgar — sense of humor.
So, yes, I am an individual. Maybe you think I have my own style, maybe not. But I like it, whatever it is.