How to be an "Emo" Misfit
"Fitting in" in a small town
My whole life has been a fish out of water experience. Ever since I was a young child, I have never felt like I quite fit anywhere or in a group. I have found a couple close friends that I have known for over 15 years, and that is all I need in my life.
As a human, we all have that aching need of belonging or feeling like we are part of a group. I can honestly say, that my journey with feeling born against the grain of the “norm”, has been a struggle. The hardest time I would rank as the most uncomfortable, would be going to high school in a small town, and then moving 2 times in that 4 year period. I went to 2 different high schools in 2 different states. The first one I went to was in a small town called Show Low, it is located in the mountains of Arizona. It is a beautiful place to visit, but as for living there and growing up there, to me personally, it was damaging mentally and physically. So when we moved back to California, I felt back at home.
I felt accepted and I had friends that were the same as me. Then after about a year my family decided to move back to Show Low, and this is when life got uncomfortable. I was an “Emo kid”. The hair, the clothes and everything that I finally felt good about, was the cause of the humiliation and bullying that came with being different in a small town. The thing about small towns are, they are usually highly religious, they don’t like anything different, and if you are different, you are bullied and shamed by almost everyone. The gossip is what makes it horrible, the rumors that people tell. I was bullied online as well as in person every single day. I dealt with the cowboys, calling me names, spitting in my backpack and even door checking me with their truck doors, as I walked home from school. The girls are a whole different story. As we know, teenage girls can be vicious, and I felt this throughout my whole school experience, especially in High school. Even the parents, teachers, and church leaders dealt out their own versions of harassment.
I have learned that I only need the friends that I have and that every embarrassing moment, has confirmed this. As an adult, I have struggled with “fitting in”. I am an introvert, and that is how I like it. I have never felt comfortable surrounded by people that would potentially want to hurt, or bully me. So I have become even more of an introvert as my life has gone on, and I am happy with that.
Seeing the trends come back of the “Emo” style, gives me mixed emotions. I am happy that the world has become more accepting and is growing. Letting people be more of who they want to be, rather than fitting a “normal” mold. Then there is the side of me, where I feel jealous and kind of upset, that I, and many others, had to endure so much pain and ridicule, to make this style be accepted.
The world is always changing, and I am hopeful that soon we can all just be accepting of people living their lives how they want to live it, rather than society dictating this.
My advice to the young people of today is, be yourself at all costs. I know it’s hard sometimes, but you have the right to dress, speak, and feel how you want to feel. No one should have the right to dictate what you want out of your life. It’s all included in the “human experience”, live the life you want to live. Experience the the joys and failures on your own, and you decide what you are wanting to get out of this life. Or you’ll always be feeling like you are missing a piece of yourself.
Stay weird my friends, live your dark emo lives. <3