It’s not a word you’ll hear people using to describe me. I have never been a rebel. I’ve never fit the stereotype or the aesthetic. Teenagers are typically stereotyped as being rebellious, but that’s just not me, and it never has been.
I have always been known as the good one. I was the oldest child who grew up more sheltered than her siblings. I always got perfect A’s, I always excelled at everything, and I always followed the rules and never did anything to test the limits. In my friend groups I was always the cautious one who got anxious whenever anyone even suggested we do anything slightly rebellious.
Sure, I have a rebellious streak that comes out every now and then. People know that about me. Every once in a while I would let it come out for a little bit. If you know me well, you’ve probably seen it.
Notice I’ve been speaking in the past tense this whole time.
Because although I am nineteen, my rebellious phase is just beginning. I’m not rebelling against my parents, or against authority in general. I’m rebelling against myself.
I’m tired of being the good one. I’m tired of being the rule follower. I’m tired of doing everything perfectly all the time. I’m tired of being so afraid of breaking the rules that I give them first priority over more important stuff. I’m tired of being so preoccupied with my grades that I miss out on other things. I’m tired of holding it all together, and I’m tired of pretending I’m okay when I’m not.
If you’re familiar with the alignment chart, you might say that my alignment is changing from lawful good to something else. Something chaotic. Maybe neutral on a good day.
My friends, I must be honest, I worry about myself sometimes. Over the past two semesters, I’ve let myself break the rules a little bit. I let my grades slip sometimes. I’ve stopped holding myself to the standard of perfection I used to have for myself. I’ve stopped pretending to be holding it all together when I’m not.
That doesn’t really have anything to do with being a perfectionist, but I guess it makes sense, in a way. Perfectionism is one thing if you’re applying it to academics or your job or rule following. But the moment you start applying it to the way you present yourself to other people, it’s a bigger problem. Fun fact: pain doesn’t go away if you hide it. I guess I thought that since I was always so good at school and stuff and everyone praised me for it, I should be good at life too, and it should never cause me any suffering at all.
Why am I sharing this, you may ask. Because, I think it’s important. The world is crazy right now, and everything is broken, possibly even my soul. But when has it been any different? This broken world as we know it has always been broken, and it was never meant to be this way. It was perfect, once. A long time ago. People say all of this will be okay, that it will all work out. But it won’t. The world will still be broken and groaning. Until the very end, and then it will be made good again, and all the sadness and pain will go away.
So I’m a rebel now. I’m not trying to be perfect anymore. I’m not pretending I have it all together. Because I don’t. And I’m not perfect. Wanna join me? Then we can go be rebels together and do something slightly edgy, like going to get coffee at midnight when we should be doing homework. 😉