I walk outside and find autumn close to the skin. It is September 11th, and no matter how warm it gets a briskness will remain in the wind. I’m ready.
There’s this thing that happens when you step back, a kind of reckoning where you begin to understand that the desires of others and the desire of yourself might be different. Like you really don’t have to do what everyone says all the time, and people might not agree with you all the time (shocking). I know this might sound obvious but it was not to me for most of my life. Even though it still isn’t entirely clear to me, I am beginning to understand it in a more pressing manner.
The coup of rebellion was a discovery made in middle school and high school and forgotten until now.
I am reminded at a point of dissonance from a 13-year-old only child celebrity chef who has been on some of those cooking shows. Who doesn’t like baked egg in avocado. He stays with his friend at their weekend house in the Hamptons on the last days of summer. A small portion of battery left in the family’s drone led to its loss at this boys hands. His friend’s father found it several god forsaken minutes later in the next door neighbor’s tree. After some calls and a terse denial by the boy who went swimming in the pool, a cherry picker was called. The sun was bristling. It was hard to sit outside without long cables of sweat running down your sides. Of course you could give him the benefit of the doubt: he had never flown a drone before. He may not have known this or that, while the woman’s voice in the machine said over and over that the machine was at 10 percent. Neglect is a kind of rebellion. He was later found crying on the body-lengthed bouye.
About a week later I didn’t do my homework for one of my classes (out of carelessness, and out of, perhaps, a kind of rebellion.) I’m a le snob and can act like I know everything. This neglect was of le snob, and I think myself and junior celebrity chef were on the same page when we accidentally-on-purpose swung a hit at (in the end our own egos) authority. We both cried in places of prestige. Me in a beautiful college campus, and he at the pool.
I know, I have neglected things out of rebellion. I have been careless out of rebellion. I immediately turn off when people tell me what to do. Rebellion has put me in awkward situations in which I have not done homework, or found myself high and dry on a train platform looking out onto the tracks, imagination as stagnant as a rock, and, God help me, of tumbling low self esteem. But it feels so good to do what you want. It feels too good to let the spirit move you. But this is not rebellion. Rebellion is knowing what a person or society wants and going against it. To mix it up. They won’t like you. Not everyone will like you. Which is why a rebellion must have a purpose.
Growth. It is also natural, an expression of anger, signifying a need for development, to touch the edges of your personality as it morphs. To not rebel is to not find yourself. There are two kinds of rebellion: non-conformity, and anti-authoritarian rebellion. One against your peers and one against positions of authority. Both kinds of rebellion act as maps for your own limits, act as catalysts for questions. Why does this matter?
I think it’s ok to have rips in your jeans if you want to do that. I think it’s ok to let your hair grow long, dye it. Pierce your belly button with your best friend. I don’t really think this is a time to worry too much about cleanliness. I think you should do whatever the fuck brings you joy, because I think your intentions are good. I think you should lose yourself, my love, you’ll find yourself weeping for it, desperate for your sanity back, but you’ll be here again.