It was recently brought to my attention that I am not myself. That I try to be cool. That I try to be like other people. Me being me, I took offense to this. Not because it came from one of the most hypocritical mouths I have ever known, but because I am just the opposite of that and have always known that I am. With that, it did get me to delve more into who I am, who I’ve been and where I’ve come from. I grew up with a mother and father who were the epitome of cool. My mother with her Linda McCartney hairdo complete with different colors and chiffon shirts with no bra on underneath. A mother who had pierced her own ears, belly button and vulva before it was considered cool or mainstream. I had a father who had done copious amounts of drugs, ran with rock stars and owned multiple impressive cars and motorcycles. Oh, and he had a tattoo of a wolf on his arm that I would stare at as soon as I knew it was there and before wolves were cool. My Uncle Al wore cut off jean shorts with no underwear and no shirt and seemed to always be rolling a joint. My Aunt Duke had some sort of cool hat on and furs at all times. So many furs and shoes. So many of both and so much weed too. They listened to the music that I eventually understood as magical: Rush, Zeppelin, The Stones, Fleetwood Mac and so much more. There are stories upon stories about my family being fucking cool. Now, I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m setting up a scene here. I’m showing you what I was born into. The expectations that were placed upon me before I was even born. I was to be cool, tough and smart because my parents were all of the above. Oh, and good looking. They were good looking too.
So, I wake up one day and I realize that there is a part of me that is all of these things. There is also a big part that is not. At a very young age it seems that I have some sort of weird identity crisis. I know preteens and teenagers go through this. The pressures put on them by their friends and their parents lead them in very different directions. Only my pressures were a bit of the opposite. First off, I was always expected to get good grades. ALWAYS. It was something that was counted on. Besides that though, my father expected me to fight my own fights, steal to get lunch money and basically survive. We watched movies that were not suitable for kids my age, would be up all hours of the night and would come home to the jacuzzi being gone, but a shitload of weed by the front door. And, by shitload, I mean a pile over a foot tall on top of a newspaper spread all the way out. At the time, the kids I ran with would not think this was cool. I did not think this was cool. I did not steal any of that weed. In fact, I took my D.A.R.E. oath very seriously and flushed my dad’s vial of cocaine a few years later. Our neighbor Joel took the beating for that one, but there was no way that I was going to give up the truth on what really happened to that cocaine or any others that disappeared. Needless to say, I was not cool.
I was the girl who would get grounded for something stupid and would be happy about it because I could ready my Judy Blume book uninterrupted. I was the girl who wouldn’t be allowed to go out with her friends to some mall and that was fine with me because I didn’t want to have to talk to the boy I had a crush on. Going to school was actually something I enjoyed because I escaped my own home. I was a prude dork who looked like she was in about three grades lower than what she was actually in. Let’s just say that I didn’t grow into my boobs until I was almost out of high school. And, this was fine with me for the most part. However, there was a very big part of me that felt out of place being a good girl who did her homework and was never late to class. There was a very big part of me that wanted to ditch third period, leave campus and smoke weed. That’s where my “other” set of friends came in.
During junior high I dated this Colombian boy who had dark brown hair and green eyes. I didn’t think much of him. Mostly, I just dated him because he liked me. It didn’t go very far. However, once we got to high school, something changed and I became obsessed with him. I began to hang out with him and his friends and they were not the kind of kids that meshed well with the class president of my high school. They were the kids who had bass systems in their cars, smoked a bunch of weed, drank even more and cared less about their grades in school. They were the kids who were always in the back of the cafeteria or one the side of the building smoking cigarettes. I don’t know why they would let me hang out except that maybe I was the token white girl on many more levels besides my skin color, but they did. For awhile, I kept it to myself. Eventually, I decided to explore all that was around me and that was when I got it. I totally understood what was going on in my family. Drugs and alcohol were like life savers. So, was sex, stealing, hustling and just fucking anyone and everyone over. I became this weird walking and breathing polar opposite. And, I kept my two lives very separate for as long as I could.
Over a small amount of time, my bloodline of “cool” which consisted of sex, drugs and rock and roll came to the surface and I lost all that white as snow stuff. There was always a part of me who knew that it was still right there under the surface though. It was always there reminding me that I was not all one of anything. I knew very early that there were many parts of me. Some were accepted by others and some were not. Regardless, they were all me. And, because of that I never set boundaries on myself in terms of having to conform to one way of life. I allowed myself to try different hats on and see how they felt. I allowed myself to not claim one thing or the other. There is a grey for a reason. I chose to be there. That’s why I never understood those punk rockers who dressed all one way and only listened to punk rock and said fuck you to everything else. To me, that was just so fucking stupid and ridiculous.
There’s an evolution to things, to everything for that matter. Pardon me for a second, I’m probably going to get a little deep and weird. It’s part of who I am, always has been. I remember one time we dropped acid and I wanted to talk about the Universe and how things are and what we’re meant to do and that hypocritical mouth I was talking about earlier thought I was being weird. “Let’s just look at the colors,” she said. Meanwhile, I’m being accused of wanting to be on board of the cool hippie train now. Ha. Makes me laugh. Anyways, random tangent. Sorry. So, that evolution. It’s me, it’s you, it’s music, it’s everything. Nothing can be where it’s at now, without something or many somethings coming before it. Punk rock wasn’t just created out of thin air. They didn’t come up with anarchism. It’s traced back to some Tao dudes in the 6th century BC. But, because of them, it was allowed to turn and burn and become what the Sex Pistols needed it to be in 1975. Some of you are going to say punk was around before then. Fine. I don’t give a shit. I’m just using them and that year as a place for people to bring their attention to that so they can understand what I’m talking about. I think most people know that band and can relate it to punk rock.
So, yah. This evolution. I will never just be me. I will always be evolving. I choose not to be stuck in ideas or ideals or morals. I remember I swore abortions off. I thought people who had them were vile and inhumane. And then you know what I happened? I fucking had one at 19. I’m not proud of it. I know for me, I’d never have one again. I think the people who use them as birth control are fucking lost, but who the fuck am I to judge? What I’m saying is that there is room for all of it and my only issue is the people who just stay the same. If life is grand and you’re happy where you’re at, fine. But, that’s not me. If I want to wear a 1950’s dress and pomp my hair because I fucking can, it does NOT mean that I’m trying to be a pinup girl. If I want to wear my mom’s Levi’s bell bottoms and a halter top with my hair parted in the middle, it does not mean that I’m a hippie. Just because I am sober now does not mean that I’m not still a raging alcoholic. One does not dismiss the other. It is all a part of me and all of this means that I want to explore and learn and know. There’s nothing wrong with it. The world will continue to spin and every day will be just a little bit different and so will I.