Some people are confused. They can be absolutely at a complete loss of self or they are just a little emotionally/mentally stunted in finding out who they really are. Others tho? Well, others are constantly re-creating themselves to fit whatever trend and image is hot at the moment. I went to high school with a kid who was exactly that way – shapeshifting into whatever else was going on in an attempt to assimilate himself to the rest of the crowd. These people are what I like to call Personality Chameleons.
I fully understand that the path to self-awareness and self-enlightenment is a long one. That’s all well and good, but dramatic changes on an annual basis just make people look fake as fuck. Case in point – high school dude’s style/personality/confusion timeline.
- Freshman year: Goth phase (2000) – This dude listens to Marilyn Manson, Cradle of Filth, and the like excessively. Dyed his hair jet black, long trenchcoats and all black clothing and mascara. Yup, mascara. He’s withdrawn from the crowd, but struggles to fit in with the rest of the goth kids because I think they realized he was trying entirely too hard without having that background. Probably picked on, goaded, and laughed at.
- Sophomore year: Skater/BMX phase (2001) – Old boy decided that the whole “all black everything” x Columbine Jr. look wasn’t really working so it was onto the next one. The black metal tees, black jeans, and combat boots are replaced by Airwalks (I know, right?), Spitfire tees, and JNCOs. Mind you, this was a few years after JNCO was circulating in public, so homeboy was again late to the party. Not once did I ever see this dude skate, bike, or do anything besides listen to punk music in his new attempt to conform to the skater crew. Son was lambasted by the rest of the dudes on 4 small wheels and maybe, just maybe, he’d figure it out. But nah…so…
- Junior year: Semi-prep phase (2002-03) – From the goth metal get-up to the ollies, the kickflips, the tears and broken dreams (and bones), allllll the way over to the dude that dipped himself in American Eagle, complete with the pleated khakis and brown shoes. This dude did a complete 180 on the style and life chart. (Sidebar – if you completely change something, you do a 180…not a 360. If you say “He was completely different! What a 360!” you’re an asshole.) You can always change your clothes, but not so much for the personality or the aura of uncomfortable exploration this confused, sad individual faced. He tried to kick it with the rest of the crew in their high school prep phase…and was again thrown to the wolves. I dunno if it had anything to do with the fact that he plotted a borderline school evacuation by posting death threats in the school a few years prior. Hardcopy or paperback, the story was still the same inside.
- Senior year: Extreme Abercrombie douche phase (2003-04) – Ahhh, how the times have changed. Now dude was blowing his cash on overpriced, overhyped Abercrombie garbage and accentuating the fact that he has NO idea who he is, where he wants to be in life, or what he is comfortable in. The chances of this dude actually fitting in to a particular clique or group of friends was obliterated every school year when he tried to re-invent himself. A sad chronology of a dude that just wasn’t comfortable being himself and it was more noticed by spectators than by himself. Saddening, yes.
- Post High School: From what I’ve gleaned for information about the kid, he’s now a low-level club promoter in Boston. Huh, who woulda guessed he’s still at it. I bet $20 he follows the whole “Twilight” Team Edward vs. Team Jacob fuckery too.
No one can knock you for who you are. Real shit – but having the slightest amount of pride and confidence in yourself can go a long, long way. The clothing might change over time (as it should), but following trends to the T is only gonna keep you locked in a position to never really grow.