I know I just graduated. I know I’m only nineteen. I know. But a lot can happen in a year. Looking back, I’m a totally different person now, in a number of ways of course. The one that struck me just now is the way I portray myself.

I used to be a mall-rat, I wore bright clothes, I was bubbly and at the same time vaguely emo. Sometimes I was described as a raver, not because I did drugs (I didn’t) but because of the bright colors and outlandish styles I would sport. I wore cute floofy skirts and way too much plastic jewelry. I remember a specific day where I chose to wear a striped polo shirt and jeans my senior year. I had none of my normal bright makeup on, no plastic stars around my neck. About halfway through the day one of my ‘good friends’ (because everyone was a good friend in high school) asked me what was wrong with me and what I was wearing. It wasn’t in a mean way, and it turns out a lot of people were confused by my choice out attire. Now, I’m reminded of a certain video by Ze Frank that I will link to later when I’m at a computer instead of on my blackberry. I had build up a personal brand, and now I was deviating from this. I had created a theme that people expected me to stick to and I was breaking free of it. The people around me kept me stuck in that niche of who I was, as I returned to my previous style the following day.

When I went off to college, I had a new place to start. I was able to create a more sophisticated portrayal of myself, and seem more presentable to the world. My style no longer screamed “stupid bubbly teenage girl” and instead begged for respect, or at least I would like to think so. About halfway through my second semester, I began to miss my old style. I didn’t expect to go back into it, but I wanted to inforporate pieces of it into the brand I’ve created for myself. Now I’m trying to figure out how to do this without being overwhelming.

A friend who knew me in high school and has actually watched the progression commented on it the other day. He said that I’ve gotten more sophisticated and I can’t pull off huge sparkly pink star earrings anymore. I’m kind of sad, partially because I’m afraid he’s right, and partially because I feel like it’s another example of being kept in a theme by outside forces. Besides, a lesbian who’s name I can’t remember and who I met once – at the mall whilst mallratting no less – gave me those earrings. I at least want to be able to wear them so that I can tell that story.

High School by Marie Hicks, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

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