A few weeks ago I was asked if I could name 5 words that describe myself. Every word that came to mind seemed trite. Okay, we have creative…but that one’s obvious. Artsy…but that’s the same as creative. Hmmmm. How could 5 little words escape me? Could I really not describe who I was? Can you?
After some consideration, I came to the conclusion that defining who we are is never set in stone. Life is a constant roller coaster of up and downs. Not sure about you, but I’m a completely different person now than I was 10 years ago. Maybe thinking about who I was, would help me describe who I’ve evolved into today.
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I thought about my high school self. I listened to Sinead O’Connor, The Cure, and Morrissey while all the other girls my age listened to New Kids On The Block. I wore a black leather motorcycle jacket, chopped off all my hair, read Sassy magazine, stayed up late to watch 120 Minutes, and played tennis.
Alternative. Different. Unique. Rebellious. Creative.
I thought about my college self. Sorority girl and cheerleader. I smoked clove cigarettes and drank Zima with a Jolly Rancher. I hated studying and the effort that was school. I wore heels, grew my hair long, and never left my dorm or apartment without makeup. I discovered J.Crew and craved acceptance. I even listened to country music. *gasp* When I returned home, former classmates looked at me in utter confusion. I dated some of the popular boys from high school…although I really didn’t like them…it was mainly for my own ego.
Stylish. Cliquey. High-Maintenance. Materialistic. Loud.
Ya, being that girl was probably not one of my prouder moments in life.
After college, I partied hard during the summer and ignored my mother on the daily. She would return from work and nag me, “How many resumes did you send out today?” Ugh, eye-roll. I’m not sure why her wanting me to move out came as such a surprise. I mean, my parents bought me luggage for both my high school and college graduations. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, here’s a big kick in the ass. Finally, that November, I moved to Illinois…away from everything I knew.
Brave. Independent. Broke. Responsible. Ambitious.
Last weekend, at my son’s soccer match, I was chatting with another mom friend. Somehow it came up that I was a cheerleader and in a sorority during college. She looked at me like I was an alien and said, “Really? You don’t strike me as the type.” Completely self-conscious about this statement, I asked The Boy, “Am I weird? Like do I give off a weird girl vibe?” He chuckled…okay, he more than chuckled.
OMG, Staaahhpppp! Srsly, what is it about me just standing here gives off the I’m strange AF vibe? Is it the glasses? Shoes? My hair is normal length and brown. Freaking break it down for me!
Apparently, it’s not just one thing that stands out anymore. I’m that girl who wears a Céline shirt with Chucks or distressed jeans to a fancy dinner because that’s what I’m comfortable in. I shop at flea markets and not the mall. It’s the vintage jewelry mixed with a plain white tee. The only way to explain it is to compare it to how a French girl gives off that French girl vibe without wearing a beret.
I push the limits but don’t completely break the rules. I mix things up and do what makes me happy. Most importantly, I came to the conclusion that after all these years, I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. No longer am I trying to impress or shock anyone. Yes, I might still be incredibly shy…I hold up the wall at parties very well, but I’m just me.
Eclectic. Independent. Strong. Creative. Authentic.
There they are…my 5 words.
How about you. Can you name 5 words to describe yourself?