Whilst growing up, "Categories" was always one of my favorite games to play.
Books, movies, cars, cereal brands, clothing brand names, cities, gum flavors--it's always easy to categorize things.
We also love pointing out labels--Gucci. Fendi. Prada. Jason Wu. Abercrombie. American Eagle. J. Crew. Hurley. Billabong.
Does anyone ever notice as much as I do though that we tend to do the exact same thing with people, too?
Bitch. Slut. Manwhore. Christian. Jewish. Hispanic. Canadian. French. Scottish. Irish. Catholic. Geek. Pretty. Popular. Cool. Sweet.
People--you know, not inanimate objects.
Living, breathing, thinking, complex souls. We try to categorize people all the freaking time. In high school it was that you were popular, a partier, or a nerd, or an athlete, or a stoner, or a whore, or a weird kid. We factioned ourselves into these cliques because we were basically told by social stigma and by other people that these were the classmates that we were supposed to get along with, because outwardly we seemed similar.
Key word: seemed.
In high school, I was at such a small school that cliques did exist, but there weren't really so many categories to fit into. I was well into my awkward phase by my sophomore year (braces, poorly shaped eyebrows and absolutely no self confidence will do that to a girl), so I was definitely not clumped with the party crowd. I wasn't even really among the ranks of the "other" group in my grade that seemed to like to do their own thing more yet still all hung out with each other. I may have not been one of the overachievers of my class, but I definitely was still involved. I was super quiet when I first started at my new school, so I think people were super surprised when two weeks in, I ran for SGA secretary…and somehow won? I wasn't exactly sporty, but I worked my ass off in lacrosse and turned out to be a pretty decent player by the time I graduated. I wasn't a brainiac, but I wrote a lot and basically almost had an out-of-body experience the first time my AP English teacher complimented one of my papers and gave me an "A." I most definitely was not a partier at first……which is why people were so shocked I guess when I threw a huge house party that got way too out of control my junior year, and would show up at parties sometimes after that.
I just was kind of a wanderer, a person that really didn't belong in one particular place, one particular group.
I used to have such a hard time accepting this. All I wanted was a place to belong in middle and high school, a social ranking, a way to simplify my existence so that people could understand me and stop calling me "weird" or "awkward" or "odd" or "different" or even just stop asking the simple yet somehow still paralyzing, "Who's Alexia?"
After all…..who the hell was I? Who the hell am I?
It was because of this sense of not belonging and feeling like I was constantly forging an unmarked path alone that it would get to the point where I was constantly always trying to categorize and label myself, making changes and molding myself invariably to cater to the needs of other people that incessantly label to understand their peers, yours truly included. It seemed easier to do that. It made people feel less intimidated and more comfortable around me, or just less perplexed in general. However…I actually really started hating what people were labeling me as soon as I did feel a need to change.
To this day, I still get all the time from people that they "can't ever seem to figure me out." That I "intrigue" them with my mysteriousness. It's what keeps people drawn in, others tell me. I still get so confused by this. I don't like being told it to an extent because it feels as though you are treating me like a puzzle that needs to be solved, a novel that needs to be broken down into themes and reasoning for writing it in the first place. However…..I'm a human. I'm not a novel, or a puzzle, or anything else other than a lost, complicated damn soul, just like the rest of you. I'm not meant to be "solved." Neither are you. Authors don't always need an excuse to write something, puzzle makers don't need a reason to make a puzzle as freaking complicated as it is, just like you shouldn't need to justify being yourself or have a reason for doing so. You just….are you. I am me. That's it.
I know for a fact you can't fully figure me out or break me down. I'm essentially a living contradiction.
I'm a writer, yet oftentimes I find myself at a loss for words.
I love sundresses and beautiful shoes and vintage clothes and J. Crew, but a huge part of my wardrobe is also Urban Outfitters and off-kilter skate and surf brands. I find myself wearing a lot more black than the bright colors that my normally peppy wardrobe would suggest.
Looks-wise I'm pretty straight-edged to the point where you wouldn't know I'm planning on getting two tattoos done within the next couple of months.
I'm a Christian, but often I do things that show I am nothing but a sinner. I still go out, I still go to a lot of parties, and a lot of things I have done would make any normal person question my relationship with Christ.
I seem like I have a one-track mind and am pretty simple to some and that I'm pretty much only motivated by pizza and/or whiskey, but I read a lot, I over think more than many of you realize, and so many of the books that I have read over the years have put too many ideas in my head. So many to the point where I have a very difficult time verbally expressing them to others.
I was raised Republican but am socially liberal.
Everyone spent so many years telling me I'd be great as a fashion writer or PR magnate or teacher or school psychologist.Guess what? I love kids, I love fashion, I love working with people. I switched my major around a bunch between these things while I was very lost and confused with what I wanted to do with my life, and I hated all these majors for the most part.
Maybe some perceive me as too air-headed and dumb to go to law school, but I was never one who was okay with getting told I can't do something. If I told people my average practice LSAT score, I think they'd be pretty shocked.
I'm a girl, I'm white, yet I do not have a yoga instructor "that has changed my life", I don't have yoga pants that state "kiss me" on the back, I've grown to hate Marilyn Monroe quotes because they're actually cliche as f***, and I hate tequila.