Tell us about a time when you were deeply misunderstood. How did you fix the situation?
Once, when I was in third grade, I wanted to be cool. This was about ’98 so it was pretty badass to wear a dress as a shirt. (Ugh. 90s.) It was really cold out, maybe February, and I decided to wear a dress to school. Not just any dress– a super cool dress of my mom’s with a sleeping dog cartoon on it. I can picture the vivid yellow of the dog lying on a pillow. On the back, it was the dog’s backside (DOG BUTT!) and a bunch of zzzZZZZZ’s. Now, looking back at it, it was DEFINITELY a nightgown. But, shit, my Mom was the coolest so I was going to wear her dress to school.
It didn’t take long for people in my class to say, “Why are you wearing a nightgown to school? Did you forget to finish getting dressed?”
I was mortified. They didn’t get me. I looked awesome. I looked cool. Yet, I looked ridiculous. Even at the ripe ol’ age of 9 I realized I hated having people ask me the same questions over and over again. The questions made me self conscious, not my badassery.
So, I put on my winter jacket– red with a red faux fur hood trim– and hid in my hood all day.
A teacher probably should have made me take my heavy coat off in our over-heated school. My mom probably should have been called. I probably should have developed my sarcasm at a young age and had a snazzy comeback for the repeated questions.
We don’t always control our reactions to situations that make us feel anything less than badass, especially when we’re kids. Impulses just cause us to react. When it comes down to it, sometimes we can fix the situation. Sometimes we make it worse. Sometimes we just cope by hiding.
Yet, we move on. We get past it.
I’m not the same person I was in 3rd grade. I don’t try to dress a certain way to be cool– I dress how I feel comfy. People grow and change, but they always remember how they feel.
Currently, I feel badass.