I’m getting ready to head off to Las Fucking Vegas for the weekend, to meet up with some of the best girlfriends ever. (heh, I mistyped that as ‘girlfiends’ and am really tempted to keep it like that…) We live all over the country, so this is going to be a rare treat. Here’s the kicker…do you want to know how I knew many of them were going to be my BFF’s? A majority of them owned rainbow socks before we even knew each other. Rainbow socks! It’s a sign! And sure enough, these women are all like gold to me.
I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t found that long bright socks were part of my superhero garb. And in fact, when I put my rainbow socks on not everyone likes them. People can be kind of douchey about it actually. But I’ve reached a nice point in my existence of caring more about what I think and feel than about what other people think and feel. Otherwise, I couldn’t wear even half of my superhero outfit. I remember I was in Colorado, packing to move to So. Cal, and I was losing my mind and couldn’t deal with one. more. thing. So I cut my hair into a boy cut. I started wearing jeans and a tank top. I discovered I loved reflective aviator glasses. I got a tattoo. Tattoo’s, by the way, in my former religion are so verboten that when I came back showing off my newly inked wrist, Golfer (at 8!) was really worried they wouldn’t let me back in church again. I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the other suburban mothers in the area…but I’d started unschooling by then so sticking out was kind of par for the course. It felt so fantastically me for the first time in my life, regardless of what other people thought.
Yada yada yada, 6 months later I moved to West Hollywood. I had just separated from my then husband. I was feeling confused, alone, sad, and insecure to say the least. I went out for my first walk around the neighborhood with Frito, my small shih tzu. It didn’t take long before I noticed something. For the first time in my whole life, I fit in. Before this, when I “fit in” it was because I was trying to be as normal as possible which didn’t actually feel all that comfortable. But now, after choosing how I wanted to look regardless of how inconspicuous it made me in small town Colorado, I found myself perfectly at ease in urban city Los Angeles. Everywhere I looked…people walking small dogs. Everyone in aviators. Cute hair. Badass tattoos. Jeans and tanks tops galore. I had found my tribe, which was as surprising to this formerly mormon girl as it was to all my newfound friends that happened to be gay.
I know it’s only hair, clothes, external things. But that doesn’t make it superficial. If anything, being outwardly expressive of an inner feeling/passion/creativity is a really empowering way to be authentically you. And ironically, the more you clothe yourself in your style, the more naked you might feel by putting it all out there. It’s vulnerable to show yourself.
If you can do this, though, the quicker you can weed out the douchebags who will always have an opinion about how you look. I joke that having a shaved head is like walking around with a douche detector on my head. A guy I was seeing at the time looked me up and down when I unveiled my head and casually remarked, “So. When are you growing it back out?” And wow, in all the 5 months I knew him, it wasn’t until right then that I realized he was kind of a douche. The more you show yourself, the less amount of time you have to suffer fools. And, on the happy side, the more you show yourself the quicker you connect with other people who value and appreciate your self expression. It’s really a win/win.
I am so much happier in my connections and relationships the more authentic I am with myself. After a lifetime of feeling like I had to hide my true self in order to fit in, it’s fucking awesome to have a supportive network of people around me that encourage and embrace me for who I am…craziness and all. And others welcome me in to their craziness, and that’s when the real party starts.
There’s a post over at Breaking Daylight where she talks about her Superhero path, and what she’s found out about herself on it!
There’s also a post over at Eclectic Reality where she talks about the moment in her life when she started hiding her superhero self (all the way back in high school) and what it’s like for her now that she’s reconnecting to that power again.
And now, you must excuse me…I have packing to do. You better believe that all of us superheroes are stepping out in Vegas with our sparkly, long socked, aviator wearing, hula hooping selves! And we’re going to laugh, and play, and validate the shit out of each other! You are welcome to join along in your own way and in your own costumes and with your own friends. I’ll also be tweeting our debauchery, at least the parts that are fit to share.
Just remember, don’t stop till you get enough!