Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rebel Without a Cause

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, vis-a-vis her recent suggestion that I am a rebel

It is true that, as the US economy was going to shit in 2008, I was simultaneously an unemployed college student about to graduate, and going platinum blonde. Spending $200 a month on my hair, not to mention the trip from Boston to New York to see my preferred stylist and the other adventures that came with the weekend getaway package, could be called irresponsible. I prefer to call it rebellious.

From an early age it was clear that I liked to do things my own way, and maybe even purposely disregard the rules. I also had the overwhelming desire to really "live". Living, the way I imagined it at least, meant doing everything, trying everything I could get my hands on. And not just any old thing, but things that I wasn't meant to be trying and doing. The most attractive kind of living to me was exactly the type of living a child should not be participating in. I remember the infuriating sense of powerlessness I felt every time I discovered something new that I couldn't get to. This is probably why when I heard something about "smoking grass" I convinced a friend to do just that. Roll up pieces from her lawn and light it on fire, all the while inhaling blades of grass. Naturally as I became a teenager this tremendous curiosity got me into some trouble as supplies and ingredients for disaster became more readily available.

I was always a leader, or, in other words, the bad influence. My rebel resume might list my proudest skills; fearless leadership, proficient risk-taker, expert under pressure and adept at recovery.

The beauty of life is in its contrasts. I have walked the halls of the most esteemed, elite fashion magazine in the world, and also the halls of a jail for kids, where sub-standard liquid pink soap was used as shampoo and conditioner. Does something horrible make something wonderful more special? Maybe. Do we all love to watch the underdog succeed? Probably. Does living both extremes make me both more and less reliable and more and less hire-able? Yes, definitely. Do I want to work for someone without respect for a sense of adventure? No, thank you.

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Born and raised under the Los Angeles sun and smog. At sixteen spent some time in LA County Juvenile Detention Center, although never really learned her lesson. Moved to Boston for the classic college experience. Spray painted graffiti in the Paris Metro during six month stay in the Marais. Survived an ultra fabulous and frightening internship at Vogue Magazine while living at a nunnery in Hell's Kitchen. Lived a year in Seoul, a city which can only be compared to a Disneyland theme park. Written four hundred sixty-four words of an undisclosed masterpiece novel. Currently pondering her next adventure and also the meaning of her memoirs from an artist's loft in dirty Brooklyn.