I am a lot of things, but rebellious isn’t one of them.
You know how some people dye their hair pink in middle school, or hate Harry Potter simply because the rest of the world loves it? The kind who have no problem swimming in a pool at midnight despite the sign saying “No Swimming After Dark” and have an aversion to authority? Yeah, that’s not me.
I love rules. I love rules so much. I like conformity and authority and Top 40s hits. I like trends, bestsellers, and structure. I wear all black in a chic New York kind of way, not to be dark and different. I like glitter on my coasters but not in my hair. The thought of breaking the law terrifies me, except for speeding.
This isn’t to say I’m a complete pushover. Nor am I a complete angel. I had alllllll the attitude towards my parents as a teenager– but I still wouldn’t dare sneak out or throw a party. I’ve never been afraid of confrontation in the name of virtue, especially as an act of standing up for myself or others, but violence or speaking loudly in a public protest is not my jam. I roll through stop signs, jaywalk at every opportunity, and even had my belly button pierced (twice), but those things seem less rebellious and more impatient/trendy.
Basically, if I were a piece a bread, I’d be sourdough. Not completely white and tasteless, but still pretty neutral. I’m certainly not rye or an everything bagel.
Rye bread is so good though, just as a side note. God I’m so hungry.
Anyway, two of my very best friends growing up are rebellious by nature, so I’ve always known that being rebellious doesn’t make you a bad person or anything– it just makes you a little more fearless. A little more interesting and unique. A little more difficult for parents to keep safe. Some rebellious people are evil criminals, sure, but most rebellious people are just stubborn. They don’t want to be told what to do our how to do it. They feel “alive” by getting away with things or sticking it to the man.
Even though the majority of rebels are good and fine, they still fascinate/scare me. I simply don’t understand why they aren’t afraid of getting in trouble or getting hurt. Many of them are great in the workplace, don’t get me wrong, but they have no fear of little acts of defiance outside of the workplace, like streaking on the beach or sneaking into a movie theatre. These are the same types of people who climb fire escapes and refuse to wear a seatbelt. Like, guys, rules are there for your own good! Says the piece of sourdough.
I’m not going to apologize for my conformist nature. Lacking that stubborn edge of rebellion makes my life a lot easier– not just legally, but in relationships. I apologize easily, am willing to do things just because they’re expected of me, and am able to see both sides to an argument (it may take a minute, but I’ll get there).
I do wish, however, that I had just a touch more rebellion in me. Not in the sense of defying authority or blind determination to be different, but just in the curiosity and conviction departments. Rebels don’t accept things at face value or simply because they’re told it’s right or good. They naturally explore the world of food, music, nature, religion, and even philosophy, while squares like me have to make a conscious effort to think past what’s put in front of us, and really challenge ourselves to fight for what we believe in. I work hard to do both of those things because I don’t want to be a robot, but my nature could very well lead me to a rather stale existence.
Maybe that’s not entirely true about my tendencies, because it is in my nature to travel, think deeply, and develop an independent take on the world. Still, I don’t branch off too far from where I’m told to be. I don’t like to stick out too much. I don’t want to end up somewhere unpleasant, so I stay where I know it’s safe. This lack of curiosity or risk-taking makes me a lot more content and safe 80% of the time, but I know I’m missing some incredible experiences the other 20% of the time.
Rebellion is definitely an interesting concept, especially for straight-edge folks like me, who may need to break out of the pack a bit more willingly. Like I said, I always plan on being a rule-follower, respecting authority, and following the law, but there’s something to be said about people who aren’t conventional or held back by fear. When channelling their rebellious nature correctly, they’re the ones who change the world.