Monday, May 22, 2006

Socially Unacceptable. Misfit. Outcast. fReAk.

I miss me. I know that I am in there. And I intend on finding me again. I don't care what you say. I am going to be me.

I don't like to be told what to do. At all. Of maybe even more important, I don't like to be told HOW to do something.

I have always been that way, as long as I can remember. My parents were very conscious of raising me to have my own voice, my own opinions, and to be able to express them. Both of my parents are creative and artistic, my dad can draw just about anything, and he got that from his grandpa Joe who died in 1974 before I was even born. My mom is crafty in all kinds of ways, and creative. As an only child for the first 4 years of my life, my mom and dad were my friends. I lived in the country and I didn't do the whole 'day care' deal and I really didn't have a babysitter besides my aunt or grandparents. I spent my time reading books with my mom and working on crafty projects. I helped in the kitchen or drew and colored pictures, or played house... or fashioned crafty things our of pipe cleaners and googley eyes.

I know that the vocalizing of my opinions was the source of many a frustration for my parents, my dad especially. But that's the way they started me out. And they could rest assured that I would not let someone else make decisions for me, and that I would be immune to most peer pressure... because I thought for myself, and I thought out loud, and my opinion was the one that mattered. I had a theory about everything, from the way that we should color eggs at easter to the right way to make a mud pie. I don't ever remember being indescisive or needing direction. I am the perfect example of someone who knows where they are going. Literally and figuratively.

I don't really know that I was the rebellious type. I didn't do things just to piss someone off. Although I did do things to prove that no one could tell me what to do. For the most part, if all the other kids were wearing it, I was not. This started in junior high when I really didn't have a choice. We weren't made of money, but all the other kids had all these name brand tennis shoes and those stupid starter jackets and I didn't have any of that. At the time it was the subject of many woes, but eventually it turned out to make me more creative with secondhand things.

In high school, particularly when I became a junior and a senior, I was expressive in the way that I dressed and I did what I damn well pleased. I wasn't a slut. I didn't dress slutty. I didn't sleep around. But I dated someone who was socially unacceptable. It could have turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life, but it didn't... and my mom knew better than to tell me that I couldn't date him... because if you tell me I can't, I will go out of my way to prove that I can and I WILL. When all the girls were spending the spring of 1994 looking for the perfect prom dress, I was searching for the perfect camoflauge fabric to make a prom dress that would match my black jungle combat boots from the military surplus store. My boyfriend's grandma made my dress, with a cute little black jacket to go over it. She also made me a camoflauge garter with black lace, and I wore authentic marine dog tags and "tank girl" earrings made with rubber o-rings and hammered metal. I got my picture in the paper, dancing at the prom. All for that camoflauge dress. When I saw Tank Girl, I identified with her heavily. To me, just about everything could be seen as funny. I wasn't scared of anything, I was probably too young to know any better. That movie said a lot to me. And Gwen Stefani's early look was so much like Tank Girl, at the time she quickly became one of my favorite singers... and I still admire her today. I liked that she could dress how she wanted, say what she wanted, and BE who she wanted, without being a whore and a drug addict like Courtney Love. Wouldn't Gwen make a kick-ass tank girl? My junior year, I spent every morning before school combing red koolaid through my hair in streaks. Mom wouldn't let me die my hair, but I could comb red koolaid through for the desired effect. I combed thrift shops and basements for old clothes. I bought a metal pacman lunchbox with a missing handle and used a piece of leather for a strap to make it into a purse. I wore funky rings and baggy jeans. I had chuck taylor tennis shoes in about 5 colors, and Cool t-shirts and terry cloth polo shirts. I was as far from the "cookie cutter high school girl" image as I could be. I wasn't "dark" and I wasn't "gothic" and I didn't buy my clothes at Hot Topic because there WERE no stores like that back then. And I don't really care for the goth look. It was almost never original. I have never wanted to commit suicide or be a drug addict. It has nothing to do with that. And goth is too much of a "poor me" thing. And not only that, it would look pretty ridiculous on a 27 year old.

But in high school, I did what I wanted. And in college too.

When I went to college, I pierced my nose and I had a hell of a time with that. Back then, that was unacceptable, especially on a girl. Especially in small town Illinois. My dad grounded me for 30 days. He was so pissed. (even more pissed than that time I came home with the shirt "If mean people suck than nice people swallow" and he burned it after the first time I wore it.)

Eventually, I grew up and got a little more tame. I learned to conform and to appear as the "accepting" individual and I learned (when necessary) to keep my mouth shut as much as possible. Just because I had an opinion didn't mean I needed to share it, right? Alot of this helped me to move to where I am today. Knowing who I can trust with my real self. Only being expressive at the right moment. But at the same time, little pieces of me have always been there. And to people who have just met me, they sneak through at the strangest of times.

People often laugh at something I said and then say sarcastically- "Tell us how you really feel!" I am not one to mince words. And as I move closer to the dreaded 3-0, I find that I care less and less about what I am "supposed" to do, and less and less about how I am "supposed" to behave, and what is acceptable to think and say, and more and more centered around what I want to do. After all, you only live once, right?

Supposed to work full time so I can become rich and pay for a house and a car and all that jazz? Hmmm. What if I don't want to? Supposed to wear black dress pants or khakis to work because that's what everyone DOES? Brown eyeshadow? What if I don't want to? What if I want to wear a fake ponytail and sequins? What if I want to wear patchwork skirts and green tennis shoes? PURPLE and GREEN eyeshadow. What if? What if I want to be myself and what if I want to be comfortable in my own skin? WHAT IF I DON'T WANT to look like everyone else! What if I don't want to look like I shop at Bergner's and what if I don't want to look like I deserve a promotion to CEO. Who gives a shit. I never wanted to be a CEO anyway... I want to be a web and graphic designer. I want to be creative so why Can't I dress that way?

I am starting to feel like all of this conforming is stifling me. It's stifling my creativity, It's stifling my opinions. And I hate it. I hesitate to call it rebelling. Who am I rebelling against? Society calls it rebelling. I would really just like to be myself. And I would really like to be able to be myself so that my kids are able to have someone to look up to and the courage to be themselves someday. I am so sick of "cookie cutter" kids and their "cookie cutter" parents. You know how cool it is when you meet someone "different?" Someone who is an individual?

I think most of the people whose blogs I read, and most of the people who read my blog, were very much individuals at some time, if they aren't now. And some of us have gotten caught up in corporate america or what a soccer mom is supposed to do, and we forget ourselves. There are lots of things that make me "Me". Is it the jar of sour gummy worms in my office or the pokemon figures on my desk? The fuzzy leopard slippers I keep at work? The giant gerbera daisies that I clip to the handles of my file cabinets? Some of it is. Is it the horrible mess I can make at home when I am working on a craft project? Is it the Drawers full of kids toys that I keep hidden in the house? Is it my crazy-ass mix of magazine subscriptions- Better Homes and Gardens, Smart Computing, and Playboy? Is it my license plates? Is it Half-Nekkid Thursday? Is it my love of dogs and fish and gardens? Is it my stubbornness and my talking too loud? Is it the quirky sayings that fly out of my mouth, like "Christ on a Cracker"; "Savior on a Saltine"; "I don't give a Flying Fuck"; and "Hotter than a whore in church"; or my description of everything as "fabulous!" Is it my tendency to get home and rip off my underwear and bra after a confined day at work? The way I howl and chase the dogs around the house like a giant dog track? The books I choose to read? My love of flip flops? There are so many things that make me "me." And what is a shame? There are probably only 12 or so people who I communicate with today that are allowed to know the real me. Because the real me is either socially unacceptable, or frowned upon by someone somewhere. So there is an "alternate" meagan running around who can be a little bit of the original and a little bit of what is acceptable to the masses.

What makes you, "you" and what do you supress because it isn't acceptable by society, or by your employer/church/friends? If you could be "you" all the time, what would you do differently? What would I know about you that I don't know now? Go on, spill it..... Be yourself.

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dazed said...

wow, no one cares. that's groovy.

jackson said...

yeah I care, I know you, at least some of you but I think I know whree you come from. I think I do what I think should be done at work and then when I am at home or out I do what I want. I could care less what people think of me. I think that is why I have the nickname Jackson. Jackson is fun and parties and could care less what others think. The other guy the one at work, he does his thing and then he says the hell with everything else and out comes Jackson.

AlaskaSteve said...

Great post, I just started reading your blog a few days ago. You have a fresh voice and frame your thoughts well. I liked your Love Story post about how you ended up with your husband. Don't worry about a thing - you haven't lost your edge, you are still one of a kind. Keep up the good work . . .

Anonymous said...

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