Friday, October 3, 2008

Being Different

by , Jul 14, 2008
Just a little about who I am and why I'm proud of not being the typical teenage slave to popularity and consumerism.

Everybody knows the phrase “It's okay to be different.” It's on about a million different posters, t-shirts, mugs, et cetera. Despite this over-use and slight cheese factor, this phrase happens to be the one I live by. I abhor trends, fads, and wanting to be just like a celebrity. It seems like everywhere I look around, there is a montage of sheep, teenage sheep with their designer handbags (honestly, who in their right mind would spend thousands on a purse?), super-trendy little cell phones, and the latest piece of clothing that everybody's wearing.
I am not your typical teenage girl, and I happen to be quite proud about it. I wear what I want. If I feel like wearing jeans and a t-shirt every day of the week, I go for it. If I feel like spicing it up and wearing a long, swishy skirt one day, I do. I carry my lucky stuffed otter around school on days when I have a math test. I never go on Myspace or Facebook - if I want to have a conversation, then I have a real conversation. I hate all reality shows, especially American Idol, and I think MTV is a complete waste of time. My cell phone does not have a camera, Internet, or any other unnecessary money-waster. I am always extremely under my minutes on my phone bill every month. My two best friends live in Amsterdam and Jakarta. I have two spider plants I grew from babies named Fred and Steve that I talk to every day. I am an eclectic solitary Wiccan and sport my pentacle, Stonehenge charm, and/or crystal with pride. I have no shame in admitting that I play Dungeons and Dragons. My half-elf bard is truly amazing - the balance of good and evil in the whole world depends upon me (in our campaign at least). I have no desire to be popular or hang out with the “coolest” girls, chatting about makeup, which boy band is cuter, or whatever they giggle about while painting their toenails. Instead, I hang out with a bunch of guys, watching movies, goofing off, and going to Waffle House every single weekend, or I just hang out with myself, meditating and listening to music on a rock in the middle of a creek. If I feel like someone's treating me or anyone I care about unfairly, you bet I am going to speak up, no matter how embarrassing or against the status quo it may be.
That long, jumbly paragraph is just the short list of why I am truly different. Believe it or not, though, it took a long time to build up the courage to be this way. Back in middle school, there was one group I most desperately wanted to fit into, and that, surprisingly, was Goth. I dressed in all black (yup, chains and all), wrote morbid, whiny poetry, and eschewed every bit of outer emotion that was not negative. I even wore heavy black eyeliner every single day. This went on for about a year and a half, and I was the perfect little Goth kid except for one thing. I was not really sad or depressed all of the time. I did not really hate daylight. Even though I listened to it all of the time, I hated heavy metal and Marilyn Manson. To put it bluntly, I was a phony. Finally, in the middle of my eighth grade year, I had had enough. From then onward, I decided not to try and squeeze myself into a particular social category. Categories are for file cabinets, not people!
The moral of my tale here is that people do not have to go with the flow, fit in, or stick to the status quo. Go ahead and be a sheep if it makes your little heart happy, but I am free of all that foolishness. I am different.
To read more from Autumnrose please click here

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