It probably started in Grade 5, when I chose to spend my recesses writing my novel. It was about a ghost, and a girl, and it was written on looseleaf in a colourful binder, and it won out over dodgeball every. single. day.
Even when the dodgeballs got aimed in my direction.
When I was thirteen, I spent a good portion of my time wearing full combat gear and writing poetry.
Despite the taunts of my classmates.
I turned fourteen and decided to dye my hair blue, keep wearing the combat boots, add a flowered skirt, and play bass in a band.
I got laughed at for that too.
There were the red leather ankle boots. The dark plastic glasses decades before they became cool. The dreadfully unpopular humanitarian work when everyone else I knew was trying out for the volleyball team. Later came my love for Ani Difranco, Margaret Atwood and youth parliament.
All of which cemented my status as The Weird One.
Oddly, though, despite the laughter, my desire to express my uniqueness persisted. Perhaps it was confidence; perhaps my inner rebel making herself known.
But for many years afterward, that confidence or rebelliousness waned. My life – and my appearance, for that matter – started to look a lot more like that of the people around me. My inner rebel took a backseat as I became increasingly entranced by the trappings of grown-up life, as I saw it.
Something about a degree, a career, a marriage, a home, maybe even kids. Oh, and a dog.
I’m not sure what changed exactly, or how, but I remember the feeling I had when
I took off the heels I thought I had to wear to work because everyone else did
and wore Birkenstocks and some funky tribal-patterned earrings instead.
And the day I went to a film festival dressed in exactly what I wanted to wear and found myself looking in the mirror and staring back at a flowy skirt-clad, scarf wearing hippie.
The glimpse I had into my younger, carefree self manifest first in my physical presence in the world – in what I chose to wear. It was both a simple reminder, and a bold one, for perhaps it would be easier to quietly write novels in my spare time rather than show up at client meetings with pink hair. But there I was, pink hair and all, as if my body couldn’t wait for my mind to catch up: it was time to start looking and acting like myself again.
I don’t think this experience is unknown to women. In fact, so many of the women I speak to who are going through their Third-Life Alignment share that their alignment process often involves remembering, and sometimes becoming, who they were before they cared about what anyone else thought.
What were you like before you cared about what anyone else thought?
Do you find yourself returning to her….or have you never left her?
How does it feel?