Remember back in High School when everyone just wanted to “fit in”? Remember how cliche we all were, wearing the same things, seeing the same movies, listening to the same music, doing the same things on the weekends? When your 16, 17, 18, it’s most likely that you have developed a sense of self identity yet, and if you had, chances are you weren’t confident enough to flaunt it.
It’s true. Even to this day I kick myself in the head for conforming to what my peers thought was so cool, because looking back on it all I was really just about as lame as they come. Yeah, I cheered, I danced, I ran with the cool kids, etc. But I wish I knew then what I know now, because not much changes when you’re 25. I personally think we have Instagram to thank for that. Some things do change, though. The important stuff changes. You learn to love yourself and you gain more confidence. I don’t have the flawless skin I had as a teenager, I don’t weigh 100 lbs anymore, I can’t just dispose of double cheeseburgers at all hours of the night anymore without feeling the effect of an oncoming double chin, but I like myself now more than I ever did when I was in high school, I’m just more confident and I don’t seek approval from my peers.
Now, when I say “we have Instagram to thank for that”, I mean how often do you scroll through your news feeds and think “Oh my gosh, I want to fit in with those people! They look like they have so much fun. I want that life. Maybe I should do this, or buy this”. You’re guilty, you don’t have to admit it, because I am too. We are humans and we contain a multitude of interests. For me, I find myself wanting to fit in with the music crowd, the yoga crowd and the hippie crowd while still wanting to possibly be a politician one day. Doesn’t get much more complicated than that, am I right? But I would wear myself out trying to keep up with the Jones’ of every genre of interest. I have literally just learned to pave my own way. Sure, certain people inspire me. There are several women and men I follow to improve my own yoga practice, there are Etsy stores I buy bohemian jewelry from, I play my guitar and write my own songs while pulling inspiration from others who came from hardly any musical background, and so on.
For me, it makes more sense to let someone inspire you rather than aspire to be them. Some people are all about one thing and one thing only, which is great, but that’s just not my style. I have too many things I love to just limit myself to one hobby or style. I practice yoga more than I practice singing or playing right now, but that’s always subject to switch up. If it does, cool, if not, I’ll be that much better at yoga.
These same concepts apply to girls who are materialistic. In the fashion world, we all want to stand out and be unique, but we aren’t willing to wear what makes us comfortable, what makes us feel like us, or wear something that isn’t exactly trending. When someone of higher social status than you puts on a hat, everyone wants that same hat. When they wear some funky printed shirt, everyone wants that funky printed shirt, and that’s just how trends are set. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the things that are currently trending. To be quite honest, I was happy as a lark when native print made its comeback from the small hiatus it took from the 90’s.
My point is, don’t look at someone else’s trends and fashion as a representation of what your own style lacks. It’s so great to find someone else’s style inspiring, but it’s equally important to wear and do what makes you happiest. This isn’t high school anymore. If you feel like you don’t fit in because you don’t wear the right brands or walk the right walk or talk the right talk, who cares? Don’t clique up with people who are dedicated to being just like one another. Be you, be individual, stand out whether anyone thinks it’s cool or not. Wear your own crazy, funky hat. Start your own trends. Don’t be a copy cat!
Inspiration is great, but if you let inspirations take over your way of life, you lose what makes you, you. Happy Mon-slay!