Sunday, July 31, 2005

Becoming a Person

When I was about 16, I noticed that kids who didn’t go to my school didn’t know that I wasn’t cool. It took me totally by surprise. I already had resigned myself to a life of being hopelessly uncool forever. I would marry a hopelessly uncool guy and have hopelessly uncool kids. I was pretty sure that was how the world worked.

Yet in a couple of trips to Chicago, I found out that the universe is so big, no one could figure out one set of rules for who is cool. Their rules were way different from ours—God forbid they should show up at my school in their white socks—and the school two blocks away had yet another set of rules. What a relief it all was.

Years later though, I noticed that sometimes I acted like someone might find out that I really wasn’t cool. Even when I had moved 150 miles away from the kids at school, I still had their ideas in my head. The real world might not have believed those thoughts, but I still did. I had to get to know myself all over again.

Today people would probably call it re-inventing myself. But that would be wrong. Anyone who’s been in high school knows you have to be a unique individual to pick who you are the first time around. So I think of it as becoming a person.

I’m not sure I’m finished yet.
—me strauss Letting me be

No comments: