I found it easy to be friends with everyone in elementary school. Nothing seemed to make me hate someone—unless they had cooties. Cooties are disgusting. I'm glad I got my vaccinations for it at a young age. In retrospect I feel kinda bad for those kids with cooties. Stuck in bubbles while we lived the life in the outside world. So minus the cooties kids, everyone was my friend. I felt comfortable at doing whatever I pleased, and not feeling judged for it. Then came middle school. It's an awkward time. Not only does your body go through "changes," but your social situations begin to change as well. People start defining who you are by the clothes you wear, music you listen to, looks, people you hang around with, etc. It's a pretty tough adjustment.
I don't think I would have considered myself one of the "cool kids." I had hand me downs from my older brothers which consisted of baggy jnco pants and oversized neckhole mossimo shirts. I tried to listen to rap music, but wasn't really grasping it since I'm probably the whitest person I know. Even Eminem couldn't reach me. I enjoyed comics and studying. I also had a wicked X-men action figure collection going on. These were not considered "cool."
I always enjoyed when teachers would say "Just be yourself." I'm pretty sure these people didn't go to middle school. Being yourself seemed really odd and weird. It really bothered me that I was always going to be judged for appearances. I decided to try to fight this concept in high school. I changed my appearance drastically. I started buying band shirts and dickie work pants. I grew my hair out and wore tons of wristbands. I'm talking spikes and chains type wristbands. I wanted people to get to know me by who I was and what I did, not by my appearance.
I think that I wanted to kinda be the bad boy that I heard so much about in movies and in books. Someone that looked scary, but was in actuality someone that—when you got to know—was a really nice guy. In Rebel Without a Cause James Dean's character is painted as a troublemaker, but in actuality is a good person with a rough family situation. His parents are constantly fighting with his father always advocating for him, but always losing. We learn that he is a good person that cares about certain people surrounding him, but feeling need to protect himself from people around him. He is an antihero, or a hero that lacks the normal attributes that we would assume a hero to have.
Clint Eastwood is antihero. A majority of his characters are rough, gritty, and dark. He was just someone that you didn't want to mess with. He stood by his principals and you didn't want to cross him. In the end though, you always discovered he had deep reasoning for the actions that he made. He always helped people in the end.
Another antihero—you can disagree if you want—is Don Vito Corleone, or The Godfather. He is a man that has great sentiments towards his family, and wants the best for them. After the mafia kills his family in Sicily he travels to America and starts a new life. He tries to have an honest life, but the local crime family edges him out of his job. Determined to make ends meet and provide for his family he starts a life of crime and eventually becomes the local mafia leader. He becomes what he hated.
I thought that people should get to know me. I thought that the clothes and spikey accessories would scare off people except the ones that didn't judge by how people looked. These were the people I was interested in getting to know. Eventually I found that this was not realistic thinking. I dated a girl who was a lot of fun, and great to talk to. She was a little wild, and I felt that I could be myself around her. One day I decided to go hang out with her without all of the accessories and without crazy clothes. Our relationship was over that day. I think that people will tend to judge us by how we look. That has a large affect on who we are. I find myself judging others by there looks and actions as well, and realizing almost every time that my judgements have been wrong.