Most of us had a rebellious stage in our teens. It’s part and parcel of growing older. Mine involved some underage drinking, house parties (always in someone else’s house, never my own!) and getting my tongue pierced, much to my Dad’s horror. In comparison to some of the things my friends got up to, my parents got away lightly!
I described myself as an individual. I can vividly remember it taking centre stage on my MySpace profile. In fact it was plastered all over my friends profiles too, without a thought as to what it truly meant to be unique. We all thought we were individual because we were going against the grain with our big side-swept emo fringes, beaded necklaces and deep and meaningful lyrics as our MSN Messenger display names. What we didn’t realise at the time though, is that we were the grain. We weren’t the only ones listening to that new, underground band or sporting that band tee or wearing our pants on show above our baggy jeans.
We cared. We’d try to deny it and try to convince ourselves that “This is who I am! Take it or leave it!” but we definitely cared what other people thought of our style, our taste in music and our interests.
My thirtieth birthday is approaching this summer. I may not be recognisable as that girl dressed head-to-toe in black, sporting fishnet tights and going to gigs every weekend (I’ll stay at home and get an early night, thanks) but I’ve realised that there’s a part of that ‘I-don’t-give-a-fuck’ spirit that has never left me. And motherhood has played a big part in being able to embrace adulthood with open arms.
These days, as I’m growing older, I do care less about what other people think. I’m genuinely comfortable with not enjoying the same things as my peers (see: gin, cats, nights out on the lash) or reaching milestones at the same time as them. I don’t have that feeling of “I can’t wear that, I’m too old”, because if I like it and it fits, I’m sporting it. In between working and the school run, I quite literally do not have the time to give a fuck.
I hope my children get the opportunity to ‘rebel’ and find themselves too. I feel more empowered and self assured now than I ever have!