We’re all a little weird, in one way or another. Many of us try to hide it. We wear neutral makeup. We wear what society deems “normal” clothes. We keep or music volume to a minimum. We try to stay below the radar.
I think that’s wrong. If we hide who we really are, if we all hide who we really are, how are we going to find other people that are like us? Looking for and finding one specific needle in a stack of needles that all look the same is nearly impossible. Looking for a specific color pencil in a pile of pencils of all different colors, now that’s something that can be done. It may take a while (it may not) but eventually you’ll find the color you’re looking for.
We often hear about teenagers and their stages. The hair, the makeup, the clothes, the attitude. I wasn’t like that. I started wearing makeup late. My clothes were ordinary. When I was around 15 I started wearing dark nail polish and a leather jacket, and was then called emo, despite my natural blonde hair and only wearing some eyeliner. I did what I was told. I was quiet.
It was only by the age of 21 I started expressing myself as a more “different” type of person. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship and realized I had absolutely no idea who I was. So I started to figure it out. I listened to music. I made friends online, friends who liked the same music. I gradually started to change how I dress. Gone with the plain t-shirts and normal hoodies. In with the beat up old converse shoes and skinny jeans that aren’t Levi’s and printed t-shirts and band merch and fandom merch and plaid shirts. In with the makeup, the eyeliner, the lipsticks. The hairspray, my god, the hairspray! “Inhaling hairspray” became a phrase of mine. Sounds like a band name, doesn’t it? It was a friend online who pointed it out. Same with “hills and high heels”. Another phrase of mine.
Do your makeup. It’ll make you feel better. This is something I do now. When I feel bad or ill or anything, I do my makeup. Take my time, and do something artistic. I know it’s weird. My mother stares. Sellers in the streets don’t approach me. Perhaps I look foreign. Good. I don’t want to look pretty. I want to look otherworldly and slightly threatening. I wear my individuality on my sleeve (or in this case on my face). Leaving my face natural, to me, feels unnatural. Like putting up a blank canvas at an art exhibition. With all the things I can do, why should I choose to do nothing? I don’t look like this on accident. I want to look like art. Art isn’t supposed to look nice, it’s supposed to make you feel something. Maybe I scare people away. But that’s just so many less color pencils to sort through before I find the right one.
My 23rd birthday is one month from today. I’m an adult. My dad tells me to behave like one. Maybe I should. But I’ve spent so much of my life not knowing who I am. I want to find that person first. Then I can be an adult. I have a few years left before I finish my university studies. I plan to know who I am by then. Maybe someone else will know who I am by then, too. Until then, I keep staying weird. Keep exploring. Keep being me. Keep trying to find the real Julie. She has to be in here or out there somewhere.