Did you know I went through a heavy emo/punk phase?! Like... colored by hair black (flat ironed it to oblivion) and believed full coverage eye liner was always a good idea. I constantly wore shrunken 'ironic' screen printed or band t-shirts paired with studded belts (buckled on my hip, heaven forbid I be 'normal' and buckle it in the front!) and had a jelly bracelet game so strong it would make your best wrist party cry (there was a thick leather watchlet involved... that's all I'm saying).
New Found Glory, Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Dashboard Confessional and Death Cab for Cutie were in my heavy rotation (among others). I would sit in my room for hours listening to album after album, writing poetry, burning cds and distressing my jeans (it's weird cuz I still do that... sometimes... minus the poetry).
If you were in a boy band, had piercings (or tattoos), wore 'girl jeans' and flat ironed your hair, I would flirt with you... hell, if you were holding a guitar (whether you could play it or not) and looked like you should be in a punk-rock band I would flirt with you...what can I say? It was a simpler time.
I went to punk rock shows in sketch clubs... not sketch as in sketch comedy... I'm (literally) talking down town Detroit ten years ago sketch (for all the over protective things my parents did in my life, apparently this wasn't a big deal). I drank RockStar and dirty chai lattes like it was my job while smoking 'blacks' (clove cigarets) in the back of a seedy coffee shop where the 'Moped Army' and cool older guys played pool while discussing philosophy. I thought myself to be 'complicated' and 'mysterious', totally in my element... NOT.
When I think back on this time in my life I want to cringe. I didn't know myself AT ALL... though my musical taste was ON POINT and my wrist party game unparalleled... I didn't know who I truly was, who I wanted to become or what I wanted to do. I was incredibly insecure and (real talk) deeply depressed... I was lost and running as fast as I could from reality. I don't recommend running away from your problems, this can lead to addiction, deep depression, cutting, causing yourself (or others) harm and often times suicide seems like the only option... I'm here to tell you it's not. (RIP ROBIN)
I was lucky.
I found people who understood my pain and helped guide me out. People who listened without guilt or judegment, who were full of understanding, acceptance and above all, love. Running away from all the negative voices, the guilt and the shame, wasn't the 'answer' to my problems, however, it allowed me to open my heart enough to figure out who I wasn't and pushed me to begin my journey to accepting who I was (first thing to go were the graphic tees, aint nobody got time for that). The beauty of this era in my life is that it helped shape me into who I am and for that I am genuinely grateful. Also, lets me honest, it is incredibly entertaining to think of myself, decked out in punk apparel, sweating my ass off in a mosh pit (you're welcome for that little morsel of memory lane).
Though this time left it's scars (emotionally and physically) I carry it with me, holding the memories close to my heart, a reminder to stay true to myself. Time is speeding up and it is easier and easier to forget the things that make us who we are; the good and the bad combined into one imperfectly-perfect person.
On that note, I think I will put on a little NFG, sip some chai and remember how far I've come. Whose in?
p.s. that's me in the front of that photo... black hair, sideways belt, leather watchlet and aviators... strong look right? The girl in the back is a friend I haven't seen in 8 years, though I still consider her a sister. Caro, you helped save my life, and for that I am forever grateful.