Day 29 of Write31Days:
When I first heard this quote in high school, it seemed to be describing ME and my struggles in the chaos of youth. You remember those days, I’m sure. That dangerous time when you’re transforming from adolescence to adulthood and trying to figure out who you really are in the world. Without dating myself too terribly much, the tv show My So-Called Life had come out during the year before I went to high school. Oh, man, did I know how that girl felt! All the awkward moments with boys. The long talks with girlfriends about what life is all about really. Yep, I could relate.
Looking at my teenage nieces now, I really don’t envy them and have absolutely no desire to do a sort of 17 Again deja-vu trip. It’s absolutely the hardest and most important journey to first learn who you are beyond the influences around you and then to commit to being yourself through all the trials ahead. We all continually face obstacles to our authenticity. Whether that is hiding your tattoos for a job, or cutting back on the LOTR references in a mixed group of friends (geeks and non-geeks).
For the longest time, I didn’t tell anyone I crocheted because I thought that’d make me too “old-ladyish”. Well, now I’m claiming it! I’m a crocheter, with a cat who sits on my lap while I while away the time at my craft. Yes – a crazy cat-lady-crocheter am I! I like to sit at home more than going to clubs or bars. I read Regency era romance novels – not just Jane Austin’s stuff. There’s a whole genre out there waiting that’s a little steamier than Jane envisioned in her classics. But I am who I am and I can’t be anyone else.
Like Drew Barrymore’s character in Never Been Kissed, I can put away the needlepoint and listen to reggae, but that’s not really me. And the truth will always out. So just go be yourself now, whatever that looks like and as Drew wisely said, “Find out who you are and try not to be afraid of it.”
Your turn – which shows and movies of the 90’s resonated with you? How have you struggled to be authentic in your life?
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