How the colors I wear reflect my personal growth.
For a period of my teenage-hood I was very particular about the colors I would wear. If the colors I adorned my body with directly related to how people thought of me, then that black sweatshirt on black skinny jeans and black Converse shoes ensemble was the best way to indicate that I was cool.
As a result of this desperate need to not look like the
norm at my school, soft colors were out. Instead, my chosen outfits heavily relied on black, on neon greens, pinks, and oranges, and on deep reds and purples. My clothing became a barrier between myself and the people around me.
I embraced the fact that I had always been known as a quiet person and kept to myself unless my few close friends were around, earbuds in and bent over a notebook, doodling. I just hoped that people took my silence to mean that I was cool and edgy and didn’t need their conversation, though the reality was that I was too socially anxious to approach groups of people and attempt to participate in conversation, and they just thought I was a weirdo.
I have grown in many ways since that era of my life, though I still am quite shy when forced to talk to more than one person at a time and I still wear Converse sneakers almost every day. My clothes remain a key part of who I am, because like most of us, I find joy in expressing myself through them. Today though, they are not adorned as a social barrier. Rather than the thick layers that hid my body and harsh traffic-cone colors that made people literally cautious to approach me, I now wear soft colors.
I wear dusty pinks, heather grays, and sky blues, all an invitation to start a conversation with a person who’s continuously working to overcome her timidness in an effort to let people know she loves to chat and makes a loyal friend. It took a few years, but I finally learned two things: shutting yourself off from the world for the sake of your anxieties harms both yourself and the people who haven’t gotten the chance to know you and people who feel the need to dress ‘cool’ are never actually cool.