She was walking a mere three paces ahead with jet black hair that appeared unwashed. Her long patterned skirt looked like it was purchased from an artsy boutique. She had a swagger that conveyed that she was seeking attention but she was intimated by the glances that bestowed upon her. She was twenty-two of twenty-three and wore a backpack that hung loosely from her shoulders. Her sweater was black like her hair and undeniably a consignment. I could see the bottoms of her legs from the tops of her knees to the bottom of her ankles. Although it has been sunny and warm in Charlotte for weeks, her pale skin had not been exposed to the sunlight.
I would have obsessively flaunted over her alternative beauty just a few years ago. I used to view the counter-culture lifestyle and the ability to give mainstream society the middle finger as a virtue. This day, I felt partially indifferent. I once identify with what I thought she represented. She was an introvert on the street, expressing her inner feelings with her outer appearance. I did not have distaste for her style and I haven't turned into a person that scorns the younger generation for their manifestations. I fancied her style, pride and was turned on by her unapologetic tendencies. She represented a time period that played a big role in my development.
I have witnessed social evolution in its purest form. I am not cured of social defects. My ex girlfriend will tell you that and I would agree. When you conform to one school of thought, it becomes easy to shut yourself off to other avenues of possibility. It's not impossible to view the entire galaxy from inside its arms. You must find a way to view yourself from the outside looking in. I still have a hard time venturing from my ways and prescribing to clashing ideals and interest. My indifference led to my recent break up. However, It's elating to know that I possess the ability to evolve.
I didn't know this young lady, I only knew she symbolized a darker time in my life. Upon arriving in Charlotte, I obsessed over gothic, artful women because I felt I identified with them. In reality, I didn't know who I related with, but nevertheless, I became obsessed with alternative personas. I knew that Amy Lee wrote haunting, dark, melodic music and the girls I liked reminded me of her. I knew that Christina Ricci accepted the parts that the mainstream actresses would not. This girl was taking on the role that most others did not touch. However, that didn't mean alternative personalities were the only ones with something special to offer. It wasn't until I began to fuse ideas from the mainstream and counter culture and open my eyes to a broad spectrum was I truly able to grow.
Personal evolution is a slow, daunting process but It's our duty to learn.