I was a pop punk kid in high school. I wore short sleeved Ataris t-shirts over long sleeves, even when it was hot outside (which it often was in Florida). I had skater sneakers, even though my skateboarding skills weren’t that great. I had arms of bracelets, and I wanted to look the part so people know I was more than just this bespectacled tiny girl. It was the simplest act of rebellion, one where the worst I did was dye my hair red, but it felt like me. I blasted the music out of my car’s stereo, because I needed to relate to the lyrics. I needed to feel them.
So what happened the other day was really interesting.
Let me set the scene –
S and I went to a sandwich shop. I was wearing my normal Saturday attire – jeans, tank top, cardigan, glasses, and messy bun. In other words, I looked like a librarian even on my day off. While I was sitting outside, waiting for S and the sandwiches, two teens – a girl and a boy – skateboarded in front of me and approached the counter. The girl was wearing a short sleeve band t-shirt over a long sleeve shirt. She had shorts on and chucks, and wore her hair long and loose. She had at least 20 bracelets snaking up her wrist.
When she passed, she glanced at me for a moment, and I recognized the look. Taking in my (rather dorky) appearance, she thought: I will never turn into that.
Which was funny because when I looked at her, I thought: I was once you.
The thing is, I love how I turned out – even if I rarely see bands perform live anymore and my Ataris t-shirt is long gone. The music still plays sometimes, but that phase is over. I’m happy with who I am now. And I hope she will be happy with her future, too.