My major identity crisis–or, I should say, crises–really started in third grade. They started off small and simple, beginning with questions concerning whether I was the type of girl who liked to sing High Musical karaoke and play dress-up or the type of girl who liked to roll in the mud and play Nerf tag. I tried to box myself into one or the other when the reality was that I was both. Society loves stereotyping and compartmentalizing people. According to our world, you are a “tomboy” or a “girly-girl.” A or B. Red or blue. The in-between section (which is, in truth, where almost all of us are) is rarely emphasized.
I went through my “rough and tough” phase in fourth grade. Fifth grade was my “class clown funny girl” phase (hint: I wasn’t funny. I was obnoxious). Then came the glittery neon phase, the sporty phase, the wanting to wear all black phase…I shifted identities so easily and fluidly as the wind. I believed that I had to fit into a certain mold, a pattern of dressing and behaving to line up with what society says about those who behave and dress in certain ways.
Sometime this past spring or summer, I decided to be simply me. I don’t try to box myself in anywhere; I don’t place myself and identify with any stereotype or compartment. I now realize that nobody completely fits any of these stereotypes. They’re just that–stereotypes. Oversimplified images or ideas of a particular type of person or thing.
Try not to stereotype anything or anyone today. Don’t put things in boxes; rather, let them be as they are.