“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
When I was a teenager I dreamed big.
In one of my diaries I wrote in detail about my future house and backyard: “537 acres” complete with a “show barn and stables.”
I also wrote that I wanted to be a YA novelist and a big time screenwriter (obviously I would need two jobs to afford that kind of acreage, especially with the fancy pool tiles I detailed–you can read more on my diary in this post).
I dreamed with abandon.
But for most everything else I seemed to check myself. I never wore all black or any clothes that might make me stand out. I never dyed my hair wild colors. Once I dyed it black, but I changed it back to blonde the same day.
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
― A.A. Milne
Was I muting my individuality?
I mean I liked wild colors and glittery things. I loved flipping through my Seventeen magazine (especially the back to school issue) to see all the fun outfits and makeup. I would try all the fancy eye shadow techniques, but yea, I edited when I ventured out into the world (except for colored mascara. I loved that stuff–especially the electric blue color).
But I also wanted to blend in. I’m sure now a part of that was inhibition, but a bigger part has been the discovery of how I fit in my own skin and realizing that I have my own preferences for how I choose to be in the world. I know now that part of my individuality is that I’m happier in the role of observer, that I like to take my excitement from the world around me in bits and pieces instead of all at once.
But how does an introvert (who dreams like an extrovert) portray herself to the world?
Anyway she wants?
Okay so maybe wild hair isn’t really me. Dyeing it was certainly messy and I didn’t like that my hair felt like straw. Plus, when the Blue Envy dye dried, it flaked. I had Smurf Dandruff all over my clothes and bathroom.
And my shower as I washed the temporary dye out of my hair?
It was Avatar meets Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
But even with the mess, it was all totally worth it to see the looks on my kids’ faces. In their eyes I could see they thought I’d unleashed a can of Crazy (I’m definitely filing away this experience for YA writing research. If I’m ever at a loss for how to “torture” my main character, all I have to do is have the parent dye their hair).
And I still think glossy blue (read: salon created) hair like Katy Perry has, is pretty.
After seeing her movie Katy Perry: Part of Me last week, I felt inspired (and not just “follically”). I especially loved the videos of young kids who felt supported by her music, who expressed their feelings of being okay with being different and found a way to be a little more comfortable inside their own skins.
“You’re original, cannot be replaced.”
~Katy Perry, Firework
Taking to heart the message it’s okay to be who you are is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes (like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz) we don’t realize that we’ve had the power within us all along.
Oh the tricky, elusive power of self-acceptance.
I think one way to harness it is by dreaming (BIG!) and then making every effort to make those dreams come true. Because often our dreams are uncensored. And there’s a confidence to be gained when we follow our dreams. The kind of confidence that allows an introvert to blog–or post blue haired photos.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist
I love the possibilities– in dreaming, writing, blogging and even dyeing my hair. So yea, it can be okay to blend in, but make sure you keep yourself open to possibility. Open to your dreams.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
~Henry David Thoreau
What are your teenage dreams? What things are you inhibited or uninhibited about?
I love it when you share! 🙂