Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Acceptance

In my awkward style travails, I feel I have recently reached a milestone. The last couple of weeks, I just feel like I can't be bothered to try to 'be' anything any more. Perhaps it's due to my semi-obsessive all-or-nothing approach to fashion, styles and subcultures but I felt like I was beginning to limit myself once again by trying to slot myself into a pre-defined style concept, even if it was one I had created myself.

So I stopped, took a step back, paused in my frantic scrolling through Pinterest and went and did something else. Things I was interested in. Stopped trying to get the 'real me' out of the depths of my psyche with a crowbar and left her to get on with it.

And it helped.

When I was a little girl, my mother tells me I had no interest at all in fashion. From my own memories, this isn't entirely true. I had no concept of being stylish, or even of looking acceptable in the eyes of my peers, but I had strong ideas of what I liked (flower patterns. Rainbow colours. Shiny fabric. People with bright-coloured hair. Dreadlocks. Things with ponies on. Some of these still hold true. Some do not. ;) ).

Then, growing up, I went through the hideous stage I think many of us do in secondary school - suddenly realising that I didn't 'fit'. I wore a baggy Green Day hoodie I had on loan from my friend Jade. My hair was cut short and bleached blonde (attempting to emulate Mary Stuart Masterson in the film Some Kind of Wonderful, which I watched approximately 1000 times when I was laid up on the couch with a neon-pink cast around my broken ankle, aged thirteen). I liked rock music and dance music and ripped jeans and obnoxious plastic earrings and shell jewellery and skate shoes and None Of This was acceptable to my classmates, who proceeded to make my life a living hell.

I left school very young, but the damage, as it were, was done (she turns up the melodrama). I had learned that the things I liked (weird clothes, Bleeding Edge Goth dolls and going to the bookshop after school with my friend Jade to buy manga and L.J. Smith books) were enough to make me unacceptable to others. Even in my Goth years, when I was thoroughly enjoying myself, I was aware that I had 'guilty pleasures', mostly musically. And yes, from time to time, I got slated for them.

I have always tried to cram myself into the 'right way' to do things according to however I was presenting myself at the time. So the most important step so far on my journey to feeling comfortable in my skin, life, and wardrobe, has been to seek out and embrace all the little, guilty, nerdy, secret pleasures I have stamped on and squashed and bring them into the light. To stop staring into my closet with a growing sense of horror and instead fling on the nearest, cleanest tee and jeans and go write something, draw something, cook something, go outside.

I'm not a schoolgirl now - I am a grown woman, and I can be a geek if I want to. I can listen to any music I want, and it's not a guilty pleasure, just a pleasure. I can get enthusiastic over the things that I REALLY like and know that my good friends like me AND my weirdness, even if the occasional acquaintance at the pub doesn't get me and thinks I'm a bit odd.
My life is bigger than how I look.

13 comments:

  1. Amy, can you hear that? It's me wildly hooting and whistling over here in NYC! WAHOO! Congratulations, dear gal, this is a milestone. It's a HUGE step. It's an awesome development. Some people never make this next step. Some of us, in our ... ahem ... old age, make this step a number of times, only to calm down and accept who we are and what we do in our 40s or 50s. Yes, congratulations is in order.

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  2. *Joins in the hooting* ;) Well done indeed! This is actually my current aim at the moment but it's a struggle, as I'm sure you are aware (I'm like you - all or nothing!). People need to understand that they can like what they like - if it doesn't fit a certain 'label' or thing that they're aspiring to look/ be like then it doesn't matter because everyone's an individual. Loving one thing doesn't negate anything else. :)
    I think you look lovely in that photo btw, and the end sentence is perfect!

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    1. Thank you so much :) keep struggling on, it gets easier <3 I'll be over here doing just the same.

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  3. It frees up quite a lot of time to do more exciting and fulfilling things when you can just throw on an old HorrorCon tee, black sweater and jeans, doesn't it? I find it does. :)

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    1. It does indeed :) noticed today I have stopped checking the mirror 1,000 times a day as well; I'm not even really thinking about what I'm presenting to other people, I'm too busy thinking and scribbling and doing things ^^

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  4. YES! 1000 times yes, I'm delighted by this post in all ways :).

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  5. This post made me really happy, go you!

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  6. Self-acceptance is the kindest gift we can give ourselves. :)

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  7. Good for you Amy! You are figuring out who YOU are and letting yourself be whoever you want to be, and it's ok if that changes often :) Look how strong and confident you are now! Go girl!

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