Breaking Up With Expectations
It’s spring of 2011. I’m wearing Abercrombie shorts that reach down to my scabbed-over, Band-Aid-filled kneecaps. In my right hand is a pink iPod Nano connected to my wired headphones that swing back and forth as I walk to school in my hot pink sneakers. A range from Bruno Mars to Train to the Jonas Brothers blast into my adolescent ears. As I look around my middle school hallway, I see the girl next to me wearing laced up Converse that also reach up to her knees. I knew I should’ve made Mom buy those for me, I thought to myself. But my saving graces are my peace sign choker from Claire’s and three varying mood rings that showed everyone else that I was, in fact, the trendiest tween in the building.
Most of us were in middle or high school during this time and in the midst of figuring ourselves out, along with our own style. The fashion statements that took place over a decade ago left a universal imprint on all our minds… to never forget, no matter how much we want to. Will that fashion sense ever be considered retro? Vintage? Timeless? The 80s fashion is making a strong comeback—high-waisted jeans and crop tops and curtain bangs. Who is to say feathered hair pieces and basketball shorts down to the shins won’t circle their way around in a couple of years? Personally, I hope that isn’t the case. Imagine kids begging us to buy them infinity scarves and flat rim hats or wedged sneakers and jeggings. I certainly don’t want to picture it and I’m sure no one else does.
All of this to say, coming to terms with the fact that those trends wouldn’t be around my whole life was my first heartbreak. And not because I thought I looked like hot stuff in my neon denim pants with neon rimmed sunglasses to match, or that I thought having my whole wardrobe being from Aéropostale was super cool, but because it was also breaking up with the naïve concept that acceptance from others came from materialistic possessions of mine. Maybe that sounds vain, but it was a quick lesson that to find out who I truly wanted in my life came with not conforming into what I thought other people wanted me to be. So, while my first break up was certainly not a cute one, it was a necessary one. And I’m thankful it happened at such a young age for me.