An Unconventional Rebel

rebel For the second time in a week, I’ve had someone I just met ask me if I was ever a “rebel” in college. Sure, I nearly dyed my hair black sophomore year and made several (hundred) choices I don’t look back on so fondly in my now 24-year-old age, but I couldn’t really recall a time where I’d painted on the black lipstick, given my friends and family the bird and made like a member of an acid rock band. ‘Did I miss something?’ I started asking myself this afternoon as I lay on my couch in my rather un-rebellious apartment. I thought back to a time not too long ago when my tendency to go with the grain was embarrassingly questioned by a coworker.

It happened about eight months ago, when I first started working at my current job.  I was casually asking a colleague (for the 11th time) if he thought someone else thought I thought something I didn’t want them to know I was thinking (totally normal worry to be having.) Finally, in what I’m sure was frustration hardly dressed in the wardrobe of concern, he looked at me and said:

“Laura, why do you care so much about what other people think about you?"

“I do not!” I whined like a five-year-old who was getting accused of having a crush on her classmate. “I mean, why do you think that, do you think I think that???”

There I was…doing it again.

I’ve established that there's something about the workplace brings out my inner people-pleaser in the worst way.  In the event I have nothing in common with you, or that your opinion of me might directly impact the number on the check I take home every two weeks, I’ll pull out all the stops to avoid the God-awful possibility that the following might happen:

You might not actually like me.

I was annoyed to have been faced with such a point-blank inference into my little habit of on-the-spot metamorphosis. In my mind, I wasn’t being a people-pleaser, I just simply cared too much about my job and the potential consequences of what might happen if someone I didn’t know knew what I was thinking. 

Right.

Anyways, after my coworker made this same interjection into my audible running thoughts of neurosis for the third time later that week, I’d decided it was time to cut the sh*t (yes, I just swore for the first time on The Light Files…do forgive me?) I decided that of all the things I practice on a daily basis, it might make sense to practice not giving a sh*t above everything else.

I’d like to think I’ve made significant progress since then in no longer being a perpetual chameleon and channeling my inner rebel. Beyond that, while I never sported the black lipstick, nor did I listen to acid rock, I’ve been a rebel every time I’ve done something differently then what’s been expected of me, which has pretty much been every damned day of my life.  I mean, did you wear three-inch platforms to school in the third grade? Perhaps my inner-rebel wasn’t shopping at Hot Topic, but rather wearing Lady-Gaga-high shoes and oversized sunglasses while simultaneously bingeing on TED talks and the latest issue of "O", The Oprah Magazine.

And more importantly than that, I also just said “damned”, which is after I already said “sh*t” with an asterisk. Did you see that?

I mean, Damn.