As a high school student in the late 1980s, early 1990s, I was learning how to express myself. Like many people, I went through different phases. I was trying to figure out who I was.
I went from being someone who was always trying to “fit in”, and “keep up”, with the more well off students, to someone who quite frankly, no longer gave a damn to keep up with the game.
At the beginning of these
horrible wonderful years of my life, I wore the knock off clothing that looked like name brands of the time. I scrimped and saved to be able to buy my first pair of Pepe jeans, and then my first pair of Lucky’s. I would get up 2 hours before school started, even though I lived half a block away. My hair had to be “just so”, and it took a LOT of hairspray. This was the end of the 1980s, and big hair was still very much a thing. My makeup…uhmmm….wow. Let’s just say, that your eyeshadow had to match your clothing, and blue mascara was a VERY BIG DEAL.
As the years progressed, I toned things down. Somewhere around the age of 16, I realized I wasn’t a “prep”. I was a “jock” of sorts, but cheerleading was no longer a must do activity.
My hair grew longer, and hair products became less and less important to me. My makeup? It too, took a back seat. Gone were the days of making sure I spent an hour on it, getting it “just right”. I became “grunge”, with a hint of “punk”, long before it was popular. The Sex Pistols, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nirvana became my daily soundtrack, with some Guns ‘N Roses, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Doors thrown in, just to keep to my roots of rock and roll, that I was raised on.
I no longer fit in (did I really ever??), in my little Kansas town – population 1,803. Where everyone wore button up shirts and cowboy boots, I was wearing band tshirts, flannel, and a lot of black. Black eyeliner, and red lipstick became my signature. I shaved off half of my hair, and let what was left hang in it’s natural waves, with no coaxing. I felt free. I no longer cared what others thought, or said of me. Some of it was done for shock value, and to rebel – but with one hippy parent, and the other a flower child parent, rebelling wasn’t as exciting as it should have been. At least in my mind. 😉
By the time my senior year hit, I had discovered that being me, was much more important. I let some color back in my life, but still held on to that side of me that had come out in the previous 2 years. I no longer cared at all, if I fit in, nor did I care if I shocked you. I was comfortable in my skin, and in my clothes. Too bad that I had become involved with someone who didn’t like me being me. I paid for being myself, for several years, with tears, bruises and pain. I finally got smart, and left him.
Now, years later, as I start my 40s, I’m discovering myself again. Back is the woman child who decided that long hair, without dozens of products in it, is perfectly ok. My makeup? I still wear it, and wear it proudly. Gone are the days of the cheap drugstore brands. You know the ones I’m talking about. Now, I wear quality products. Naturally based products.
Some days, I let that little punk girl shine through, with her defiant bright red lips, and thick black eyeliner. However, I’ve also discovered that a pin up girl lives in there, and she too loves the bright red lips, but prefers the long lashes and neutral eyeshadows. (This one LOVES the 3D mascara, she used to live off false eyelashes – which I hated her for, they were a PAIN in the @$$!) Little miss sophisticated is here, also. With her plum lips, and her smoky eye. Then, I have the days where the hippy woman shows up. Makeup free, and not a care in the world.
And, through all of those inner girls, and women, I am finally, fully happy. I no longer limit myself to some small square. I let myself be…. fully myself. Not so surprisingly, I wish I had let it happen years ago.
Find your real self, no matter how many parts make it up. You’ll be glad you did.