During my sophomore year in high school, I tried to go for the “Keith Richards look”, long hair, necklaces, some other random crap. I wore it around the house for a half day before heading back to school.
I looked like a friggin’ idiot. It didn’t work on me because, well, I didn’t do drugs and, that was Keith Richard’s look, not mine. I scrapped the idea of trying to do that. Sixteen-year-olds who go to boarding school are not the second-coming of Keith Richards.
I also wore a Master P shirt to school once. I don’t really know how I got away with doing that. My mom probably threw it out as soon as I got home.
I’ve probably tried to mold my image in other ways: posting pictures from exciting places or at interesting events, trying to get that “in a relationship” status with girls, strategic status updates that make me sound like I’m having the best friggin’ time of my life.
Molding your image is a load of crap. I get that there are certain times you have to look a certain way, mainly at your job. But most of the time, giving a crap about how other people perceive you is dumb.
The only time I ever remember changing my mind about my appearance was when I went to Boy Scout meetings. I would usually walk to our meetings because they were only a few blocks away. At first, I’d carry my Class A uniform over my arm while I walked there. I’d put it on for the meeting, and take it back off as I walked home.
My mom told me that I should wear my uniform when I walked home. She told me to be proud of my uniform and my accomplishments. I took that to heart and began to wore it to the meetings and back. I know image is a big deal when you’re a teenager, but that was my first experience of not caring what other people thought about what I had to do.
I stopped getting so anxious about what my life looked like a while back and started just doing what I enjoy: wandering around cities with no particular agenda, seeing comedy shows, writing things, reading books, and enjoying good beer with friends.
I realized that I don’t like overcrowded dive bars late at night. I don’t enjoy drinking to excess. (I’m awful at being hungover.)
My dad’s probably the best at doing his own thing. Even though a bunch of his family hunts and fishes, he never really pretended that he liked it. He would have been miserable if he tried to keep up with the hunting Hansens. He has his own way of enjoying the outdoors (sitting on a dock with a beverage.)
Of course, he’s also winning retirement better than any other person I know. He and mom just got back from Spain and now they’re in Florida for over a week.
Just do your thing. It’ll all turn out.