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A Blurred Upbringing, Part 2: “Comfortable With Being Unique”

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The ‘Blurred Upbringing’ Series is going to be a series of blog posts I put out detailing something strange, memorable, or important from my childhood. After you hear some ramblings about my own upbringing, with images to illustrate my point, you can find the Moral of The Story down at the bottom. The Moral of The Story is the point I want to make with each of these rambling blog posts. Enjoy!

S/W Ver: 96.71.95RGrowing up, I was never one to follow the latest trends or do what my friends were doing simply because my friends were doing it. Oh, sure, I fell under peer pressure a few times, like any person has, but I was entirely comfortable with being unique…and I do mean unique. I dressed differently than everyone, and it wasn’t just for the sake of being a rebel. There was one whole year in high school where I dressed almost exclusively in eighties styles – because I liked it. I had a punk rocker fashion stage, and even a goth stage (minus the black lipstick, because I wasn’t allowed to wear it). I dyed my hair so many colors it isn’t even funny, just because I liked it. Besides your normal black, blonde, red, and brown (which I did, all of them), I also dyed my hair pink, purple, green, burgundy, and used kool-aid or markers to add highlights from every color of the rainbow.

It wasn’t all about looks, either. I did what I liked, and didn’t do what I disliked. I didn’t care if 2762961456others shared the same interests as me – or, it didn’t influence my opinion of these things, anyways. This included things like music, movies, hobbies, extracurricular activities, etc. For example, I love all music – although the music I listen to the most varies on a day to day and year to year. I didn’t care what was cool or hip at that point in time, I listened to whatever I felt like listening to. The same goes with movies. I didn’t claim to like a particular movie or type of movie just because everyone else did. Nor did I spend my time doing hobbies other people enjoyed simply because it was the ‘in’ thing.

Unfortunately, like me being “one of the guys” (which I covered in part one), this caused me several issues. The main point is that it got me picked on or bullied quite often. Granted, I can take care of myself, and I did. This led me to get into quite a few fights, however, which is never a good thing. While I can and will defend myself when the need arises, and not think twice about it at the time, I really don’t like to fight… at all.

GE DIGITAL CAMERABut kids are mean. They really, truly are. Since I didn’t want to go along with whatever the popular kids deemed cool that week, I was outcast. Oh, I had plenty of friends, and they came from all walks of life. They came from all types of ‘cliques,’ social statuses, income ranges, races, genders, etc. I never discriminated against anyone. If you were my friend, you were… if you were not, well, it had to do with your character and nothing else. But there is always that alpha clique in school who prides themselves on being popular, and enjoys tearing people down to build themselves up. Those people were not my friends, and they caused me a lot of heartache in my life.

I never acted as though it bothered me, but I’m not as thick skinned as I appear to be. It did hurt.

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I was just strong enough to never let it influence me. Besides, if I had altered who I was to avoid being bullied, I wouldn’t have been myself anymore. Those who were causing me pain would have won the battle, and I would never have allowed that to happen. I am now a well-rounded, unique, even lovable adult. I have a happy marriage, a beautiful daughter, and a budding career. I have friends of all walks of life. Those who caused my teenage years to be hell, well, I can’t say the same for them. I don’t know where all of them are, but I know that one in particular is a drug addict, with a child she doesn’t care for, and she doesn’t even know who the baby’s father is. Basically? Karma’s hell.

On an interesting note, all of the images you see illustrating my point here are actual pictures of myself as a teenager. It should illustrate my point rather perfectly, and give you a real visual of what I’ve been saying here.

Moral of The Story:

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Be comfortable with who you really are, and allow others to do the same. If everyone in this entire world felt the same, did the same things, and enjoyed the same things, it would be very boring. Don’t allow others to bring you down or change your mind on something just because others don’t think what you’re doing, feeling, or enjoying is “cool.” But by the same token, don’t bring others down. A little harmless teasing amongst friends is one thing, but bullying someone simply because they don’t fit into a ‘label’ or agree with you on everything is ridiculous.

If you enjoyed what you read, and would like to read more on a similar topic, be sure to check out our post, A Blurred Upbringing, Part 1: “One of The Guys”

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