I've always been a good kid. As in, I've never wagged school, never abused teachers or bullied students, I've never dared neglect my homework, my assignments are always on time, my most rebellious act in the my highschool years has been to dye my hair with a red rinse that washes out after a week. I'm not game enough to do anything truly rebellious, but even so, I have moments that mark small victories in my journey towards a freer me.
This week is the last week of term three. I have had two days off. The first day, I went to the movies with my mum. Today, my second day off, I am going to work on my book and finish my university applications. For me, this is a big deal. I didn't come to the decision to accept my mother's offers to stay home lightly. To choose to stay home, I experienced huge amounts of guilt. I felt so morally obligated to go - to not let my best friend be a loner in last period - to fulfill the goody-two-shoes stereotype which I have so faithfully adhered to these past five years. Taking these days off has been a victory in several ways. Not only have I been able to break through my fear of abandoning the 'law' of school, I have also been able to rearrange my priorities and come to the revelation that I am not a stereotype.
Well, perhaps I do qualify for a few stereotypes. But this act of rebellion serves a purpose deeper than merely breaking a stereotype in the eyes of my friends. I first thought that the goal was to make everyone else see that I am not stereotypical - that I can be spontaneous and free and frivolous when I please. But then I realised that I don't care so much what my friends think about me, because I know that whatever I do, they'll just accept it. So what is the point of rebelling?
I realised suddenly that the point was to be true to myself. The goody-two-shoes thing was a design to fit into the system - a safety net of sorts. While I am very naturally a studious, hard-working busy beaver, these small rebellions are a way to be true to a deeper part of me. I didn't dye my hair to change everyone's view of me. I dyed it only for a week because I am the sort of person who doesn't want gross regrowth or the permanent stain of a bad decision. I dyed it red because, at heart, I just really wanted to dye it red.
So now, I think about my days off. I am not taking them off to show people that I am being a rebel. I am taking them off because I am exhausted, and I want to. I am not sticking it to the system. I am acting upon true self.