It’s beautiful to see kids in their creative, imaginative state of mind, as they throw themselves around the floor pretending to be mermaids and superheroes. It’s just a carpet and a couch, but to them it’s another world and I instantly have flashbacks of how I played just the same as a child. I remember it being so real. I’d flap my mermaid tail in the pool and in those moments it would actually look like the ocean and the sharks would be coming for me; I could feel their pressure and the fear building up inside my chest. How amazingly is the imagination? It’s the magical getaway that I can now as an adult only experience when I go to sleep at night. Luckily for me, I dream nearly every single night and they’re always widely vivid and interesting, but to remember how as a kid you could transform your entire world into a faraway land and actually believe it and see it, is something I wish I could hold onto forever.
Of course it’s the imaginative types that are always claimed to be weird and strange as teens and adults. Like my old neighbor, who’s 16 and runs around his yard alone fighting Jedi’s with his light saber. Don’t get me wrong it can be a bit comical and strange, especially to other high-schoolers who leave their imaginations to gather dust in boxes in their attics; Yet he has so much more than many of us with his ability to use his imagination so vividly. Those are the creators. Unfortunately, at that age it’s all about being what’s “cool” and “popular”, not quirky and different.
I would sit in boring classes in high school and try to force myself to daydream. I wanted to feel the escape of a magical place with magical people and transport myself to my own fairy tale. But as I said, force. Sometimes out of the blue it would just happen, but when it disappeared I always wanted it back and could never reach it. I wanted that imaginative escape. Like those moments in the early mornings where you’re consciously asleep and can control the avenues of your dreams, those are beautiful, extraordinary moments. I wanted the feeling of creativity.
I bring this up because creativity and the imagination has a lot to do with personal style, and overall being your own unique person. A creative mind has creative style. Style is how you express yourself. And if you’re just buying what everyone else has then are you expressing you?
In high school I wanted my creative genius to flow but it disappeared with tight pencil skirts and Victoria’s Secret sweatpants. I wanted me but I wanted to be “cool”, and I feel as though this is a mass consensus for high schoolers. Fortunately for me I am a creative person, even though many times in the past I have dampened it down. I found creativity in changing my hairstyle. It was an expressive freedom for me; there was no “cool” hairstyle. I love change and experimenting and I always did that with bold drastic cuts that got me called names like “alien space invader” and “helmet head”. Teenagers are always the prime suspects of criticism from their peers, and that’s the exact struggle with expressing yourself and growing into who you really are. Everyone always has something to say about everyone who’s just a little bit different.
I will always remember the best (back handed) compliment I ever received and of course it was in high school, “you wear the ugliest clothes but they look so good on you!” That’s exactly what I’ve always wanted and everything I believed, and still do, about my sense of style. And even now, because of my strange taste, I often don’t follow my first instinct. I care what my boyfriend will think of it, or what my family would say etc. Then I later regret not following my true desires and letting myself care what everyone else will think.
We grow up being pressured for approval and learn that acceptance should be the goal and therefore we try to be like everyone else, to act and dress like the media tells us to (just look at the mid length Kim K bodycon phase!). Even now with a fashion blog, the Instagram pictures I post that are the most basic and cliché, like a cup of Starbucks, get the most attention. I’m stuck somewhere in between wanting to have what’s popular style and wanting that that’s my own and I think that’s the same for many of us growing up in today’s culture. But that’s okay and it’s okay for you too, for everything you’re stuck between choosing and deciding to be in life. Always remember to choose what you want, not what everyone else wants or likes or is telling you to get. And don’t let the opinion of them sway you if they don’t like it. Maybe reevaluate what their opinion is before letting it affect your choice. Your choices, creativity, imagination, and desires are what make you you. Never neglect it.