Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Starting Over

Before I go into this, I just want to point out that I'm in no way talking about being something you're not or running away from your problems. I'm talking about exploring parts of your personality and interests that you've always just sort of put on the back burner instead of delving into. That being said, read on. 

To many people, myself included, the idea of getting a fresh start is pretty appealing. Wouldn't it be nice to get away from all the problems in your life and go somewhere where no one knows about all your flaws or the embarrassing things you've done, and the only thing you need to do is give off a good first impression? Maybe you just want to try something totally different, like dressing a way you've never had the confidence to dress before, or start going by a nickname for a change.

In late middle school, the vast majority of my clothing was black, or at the very least, had some sort of dark, Gothic design to it. I loved that stuff. I still really love that stuff, actually; I just don't really wear it anymore. Anyway, in seventh grade, I bought a shirt that was super bright pink and orange. I liked it, despite the fact that it was pink and I've never really liked pink, so I got it. It sat in my closet for months because I never woke up in the morning and wanted to wear it. Eventually, on April Fool's day, I figured I'd dress super-girly and confuse the hell out of my friends, which worked far better than I expected. I wore that shirt, got compliments on it from people who never really spoke to me, and got a whole ton of appalled stares from the guys I hung out with. After that, I never really had the confidence to wear it again. It's probably still buried in my closet somewhere.

We all have comfort levels around our friends, and when one of those friends does something totally unexpected, it suddenly throws the friendship into question, even if it's really silly. "She never wore pink and always says she doesn't like pink, but here she is in pink! What if everything else she ever said was a lie!?" It seems totally ridiculous, but imagine if one of your friends suddenly showed up to a hang out dressed in a way that seems a polar opposite to how they normally are. It's hard to not judge them in some way at least a little, I think. Humans are very judgmental creatures.

Over the years, I've come to like a massive spectrum of things. There are a lot of styles I think are nice, but I generally stick to plain, dark-colored, fitted t-shirts and jeans. If not that, then some sort of spaghetti-strap tank top, either by itself in warm weather or under an unbuttoned button-down in cooler weather. It's simple, gets across the colors I like, and, most importantly, it's comfy. That doesn't mean I don't want everything in the window every time I walk past Hot Topic.

See, the clothes I have now can usually be adapted into something that looks nice enough to a job interview or is casual enough for a day lounging around doing nothing. I even sleep in my tees and tank tops when it's chilly, because they're comfortable enough to do that. I have a shirt made to look like a corset, and that's not nearly as versatile. I love it, and it looks nice, but I just don't wear it much. I'd wear make-up more if I wasn't too lazy to put it on every day.

What I'm getting at with all that (and wow, that was a lot more than I thought it would be) is that we might have tons of interests and likes, but we'll always deviate towards one over the others, regardless of how much we may like the others. If we were to start over somewhere new, it would be a good opportunity to pick up the interests we put to the side before, with the added benefit of not having anyone judge us for making that decision.

That being said, I think one of the biggest reasons that most of us don't change out style on a daily basis is because we worry about how others will think of us. If you walk into class one day with rainbow hair and tons of super bright colors, then a week later your hair is black and you look like a lace monster, people are either going to think you're insane, just following trends and can't think for yourself, or just trying to impress someone and not being true to yourself, even if you really do love rainbows and black lacy stuff.

Fashion is only a single aspect of the whole "fresh start" thing, of course, but I think it's the most appealing. After all, what you're wearing can say a lot about your interests, and it's inevitably going to attract and repel people. One of the whole points of starting over is attracting and repelling types of people that hopefully won't ruin your new life.

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