I hadn’t quite reached my teens when a stranger first asked me ‘what are you?’. In those days I wore eye-liner like it was going out of fashion, which, of course, by my corresponding chains and striped tights, wasn’t something I was evidently following. ‘Are you a goth?’ ‘Are you an emo?’ In a town populated by few residents, most of whom belonged to this ‘backwards’ parameter of England, it was inevitable (as my mum would often caution me) that a young girl experimenting with styles would garner a little attention now and again.
I didn’t and still don’t know how to respond to questions like this as I am sure most people can’t and wouldn’t care to fit entirely into a single ‘box.’
“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”
This quotation, I feel, perfectly encapsulates my inner and outer conflicts. I have rings through my nose but I also smell of Japanese Cherry Blossom; I often trade my shark-tooth necklace for a string of pearls and a black dress can be a white dress the next day.
But of course this isn’t entirely an inner turmoil dealing with merely the trivial issue of aesthetics. I am conflicted in so many areas of my life that it’s not even a matter of not wanting to explain ‘who I am’ to a stranger but more that I couldn’t, even if I wanted to.
Whilst I desire to be a character of morals and impeccable integrity, I simultaneously don’t want to live a life bound by contrived edicts of what is deemed correct or otherwise immoral. In a world that couldn’t deny its propensity to judge and label, it seems that ‘who we are’ is a question of limited answers.
I want to be so many things but, at the same time, nothing at all.