Editorial: Who I Am Realized Who I’ve Been

Photo by Aaron Gill

By Aaron Gill

Lately I have been wondering why people do the things they do, and it makes me wonder what is responsible for their behavior.

There are always times that I have done things my parents did not always agree with. For instance, when I wanted to start wearing skinny jeans my parents were completely against it; granted, I did grow up in a small country town in Texas, but I digress. The point I am trying to make is that no matter what you do, someone always has something to say about it, whether that something you do has a positive connotation or not.

I know when I started wearing the types of clothes I wear and acting the way I do, people – namely my family – tried to blame it on something, anything. I remember when I was a kid and wore JNCO jeans, and my mom said that the reason I wanted to wear them was because of “that blasted rap music.”

This accusation still resonates as I sit behind this computer screen, trying to remember all the phases of life I went through. When I was 18, I had a phase where I wanted to be a cowboy. For people that know me or have ever seen me, you are probably reading this and asking yourself, “is this guy serious?” Unfortunately, I am.

You see, as the youth of America, we do what we think will get us to fit in better. Whether we admit to this or not, we all know it is true. I once started listening to Nickelback because a girl I wanted to date was the biggest Chad Kroger fan I had ever known. Little did I know that this would be the turning point in my life.

Everything happens for a reason, and only when we start to realize why things are happening do we truly open ourselves up to who we want to be. I have come to that realization that I do not want to change myself just because to be socially acceptable.

I wrote in my last article about my multiple tattoos and my stretched ears; this is something that I find comfortable about myself, and it is as if I am using my body to tell my story.

People constantly ask about my ears. They ask if getting them stretched hurt, but never really ask why I wanted to stretch them in the first place, automatically assuming I did it because of the music I listen to or the people that I hang out with. In all honesty, I started stretching my ears because I was bored in my dorm room one night. I was not that hipster kid that just wanted to be like the lead singer of a band who had the tattoos and stretched ears.

I constantly tell my mom that my “give-a-damn” is busted, and that I no longer care what people say about me. I dress the way I do because it is comfortable and I have the tattoos and piercings because they are something that I love and always will. When people are constantly asking me what I am going to do if I need to get a job, I answer simply: I will fill out an application or send in my resume in hopes of getting an interview to show the employer that I can do the job no matter what my appearance is.

Granted, clothing easily hides all of my tattoos, but I constantly get looks and the eyes are usually aimed straight at my ears. When this happens I smile and keep walking.  There is not much that catches me off guard because I have gone through the phases; I have already been the kid that was trying to find his identity.

Now that I have a pretty firm grasp of what I want to be when I grow up, I am not nearly as scared as I was when I was 18 and got my first tattoo. I know that in my field my work is more important than my appearance. Besides, I’m a writer and do not plan on appearing on TV.

I guess what I was trying to get across with this article is this: you just need to accept yourself for who you are, and be happy with it. Once you figure it out, if everything will seem to fall into place for you. At least, that is what happened to me.

It’s like Alice in Wonderland: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” Take that for what you will, but once you grasp it, hold on to it, because I have found it to be truth.

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