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NOT is Naught
Defining your identity as NOT
By lyssa - 08:01PM - 07/09/2012
by a 21-year-old know-it-all who wishes to remain anonymous (also seen here)
I am NOT one of those girls who calls guys six times a day. In fact, you're lucky if I call you once. And, heaven forbid, you know you're in trouble if I call you twice.
I am NOT one of those girls who shows up in a cute outfit that's just wrong. In fact, you're lucky if I show up in a cute outfit at all—jeans and tees, I say. And, heaven forbid, I might just show up in sweats.
I am NOT one of those girls who will cry to get out of a traffic ticket. In fact, the officer is lucky if I am even civil. And, heaven forbid, I might just, silent and stoic, hand you my insurance and driver's license invisibly holding back tears.
I am NOT one of those girls who cries. In fact, you're lucky if I ever cry in front of you. And, heaven forbid, rush me to the hospital if I ever cry in public.
I have spent my life trying NOT to be one of those girls: those girls who don't have confidence in themselves, don't have a sense of self-worth, aren't coy, aren't pursued by men, don't have the je-ne-se-qua to wear it, don't respect themselves, don't have a sense of gender equality, or just aren't strong.
But in trying not to be these things, have I strayed too far into NOT territory, where I am NOT anyone at all? Am I a shy, sweatpants-clad, stoic, emotionless female?
Because that's certainly not what I was going for.
I'm NOT going to be one of those uncouth women who shows up for their first day at an office in a ritzy building wearing sneakers. Sneakers?! You can't even wear sneakers to a casual office, much less one where the women wear kick-the-attacker-in-the-you-know-where pointy-toe stilettos.
Nonetheless, this girl at my aforementioned office showed up on day one, in sneakers. I honestly had to close my eyes and count to three before I could look again. Perhaps I was imagining things?
No, no. It was true. She was wearing sneakers.
Unable to say anything out of shock, I shook her hand, nodding, and finally stumbled over my own name. She smiled, seemed nice enough, and assumed her position at her desk ... thank god my back was to her, the thought of her sneakers alone made it hard to concentrate!
Did I hate her sneakers because they were the symbol of the awkward, unconfident, ill-informed NOT girl I never wanted to be? Did I hate her sneakers because I was wearing killer heels that were, in fact, killing me? Or did I simply hate her sneakers because sneakers are quite possibly the worst fashion infraction one could ever make, and I am the expert, you know?
Her sneakers were undeniably offensive. But more than that, those sneakers made me question whether anything I did was as undeniably offensive, and put me back in NOT mode: I'm NOT offensive, I'm NOT uncouth, I'm not ill-informed. I do fit in! I do look good! I do wear cute clothes!
It boils down to the NOT. To NOT be is far worse than to be worried about NOT being.
The sneaker-clad girl may have been rough on the edges, but at least she wasn't rough on herself.
Does that mean I should wear sneakers to work? NOT! But maybe I should take a shoe from her closet and BE something, who I am, rather than being worried about who I am NOT.