Friday, March 26, 2010

Pom poms on my shoes

The area of town in which I currently work has a rather eclectic mix of individuals. We have everything from the very old (as a retirement community is nearby), to the average middle class to a young urban mix who are much hipper than I. As I am of my age I tend to be a conformist to a degree as my life has settled into a comfortable pattern over the years. Perhaps we do emulate our parents to some extent.

As I returned from lunch today I spied a young lady standing at the corner waiting to cross the street. Her dress was much hipper than anything I would otherwise indulge in (she had large pom poms on her shoes), albeit except for my cowboy boots. As well in my vicinity there are multiple styling schools for hair and the like. I see the students come and go every day. Although none look exactly alike nearly all have one characteristic; they dress very 'out of the ordinary'.

To some respect I believe most feel the need to be different, to stand out. I get it, I was young once. Often though many go way beyond the norm to the extreme. Hair now is colored beyond belief, or tucked and chopped or whatever else they do to it. Their wardrobe is as well nearly a costume. They want to stand out, they want to get noticed. Why is it then when anyone stops and looks they seem offended? If you want to look different there is a reason, and that reason is to call attention to yourself. If you choose to call attention to yourself others will look. If they don't, you then failed in the prime reason you wanted to make yourself look different.

The thought that struck me today was not that this young lady was different but that because she wanted to go to the near-extreme no one will take her seriously. There are very few professions in life that the extreme is a badge of honor or a badge of courage. In the real world extreme only makes others distance themselves from you thereby forcing you to work much harder to be taken seriously than someone who is closer to the norm.

Be yourself, dress how you choose, but realize you live in a world that is a little more pragmatic than you think, fair or not. How hard you have to work to overcome yourself is up to you.

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