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Resistance to Conformity



     There are times in life that appear to be life changing, as they bring us as people to self realization of an ever changing reality, and submerge us into the unknown future with newly determined mindsets and beliefs, and maybe even morals. For some people, that change comes subtly, and for others, deep and emotionally challenging. The hardest part of it all is coming out the other side with at least a glimpse of how you were before, to keep as a lesson when things get even harder down the road. But, with the emotional changes that we undergo in life, it's vitally important to designate an episode that truly changed you, and has made you who you are now.


      For me, my revelation came in the later part of my 7th grade year, when everything about me was being tormented by what seemed to be the rest of my world. I had always been different from the rest of the people in my life, and it seemed that in the Christian environment I was being raised in (both school, family, and friends), that just wasn't acceptable, and it was everyone's “divinely inspired mission” to tear me to pieces and attempt to put me back together in a mindset more submissive and preferable. Peers and faculty at school harassed me to the point of almost breaking, and tried to destroy my very core. Detentions were thrown at me for personal things that happened in my home life, and even at home, I was being discouraged for being the very person I was. I was considered to be the failure, the one that everyone had been unable to deal with. Strict religious doctrine was pressured upon me from every aspect I experienced each day.


      As time progressed and the immense wave of verbal bombardment continued, it seemed that I wasn't worth anything to anybody as long as I wasn't the stereotypical model of religious submission. My school chose to address their, “growing concern” for my, “attitude” with a conference that would involve my parents and my teachers. For three long hours, I endured lengthy lectures of disappointment in my, “unacceptable” mindset that was a, “poison” to the school's stable foundation of traditional Christian ethic and authority. My very soul was described as being the threat to the balance of social health on a school wide level. I just didn't understand what was wrong. I was being disciplined in each and every area of my existence for being the independent thinker I was. The enormous stress engulfing me from schoolwork, unjustified authoritative oppression, and harassment led me to the point of depression. With family problems at home creating a dysfunctional environment, and deteriorating relations at school, I didn't feel safe anywhere.


       I locked up. My emotions were weighing a heavy burden on an already heavy heart. I froze up my social contributions and confined myself to what had always been my passion, music, and turned my heart to stone so that no one could hurt me again. Isolation from my community forced me to endure depression that was bottled up so deep inside, I wanted to to scream. I kept to myself, even though the stress continued, and looked to music for the very heart and family that I thought I didn't have. Through all the depression, I managed to develop skills at keeping my emotions unreadable and undetectable, which smuggled me through the rest of the school year. Building on my already instilled sense of satisfaction and musical passion, I began to see life in a very different perspective that, in my opinion, is what truly pushed me through the remainder of the brutal school year.


     Hardened from the disdain, hate, and distaste for a lifestyle that required me to sell my very soul to achieve ideological happiness through a hypocritical philosophy (and something that had personally hurt me), I set off on a path that would define me as the only person of my breed in school. With music my very core, I jumped head first into the next chapter of my life as the rocker, the rock n roll punk that nobody messed with. I found family in those like me who had suffered just as greatly at the hands of religious justification, and had also found happiness in music. But, I knew that to keep my beliefs and opinions held strong, I would need to look into the world, and rationalize what I truly believed to be my philosophy of politics, religion, and life. People still ask me why I'm such a strong anchored person in my moral beliefs, and I simply explain that I've been forced to become so in order to survive my life's demanding conditions. Freedom through music and individualism fueled my sense of perseverance to fight through life holding on to what I feel is true. Music saved me from a state of complete discontent and pain, and helped put me back on my feet. I realized that this had happened for a reason. This time in my life had forced me to stand up and carry the flag for what had kept me alive through such times of hardship.


      To this day, that time in my life still haunts me. I want to explode for all the times I refused to then. But, from this experience, I have emerged as a more mature person that has scars from life to prove it, and have begun to really step up for everything I believe in, no matter how hard people try and break me. I've also learned that friends can leave you, and family can sometimes leave you as well, therefore it's important to find who you truly are, and fight for that, because you might wake up one day and realize, that's all you have.


      I am undoubtedly certain that this changed me, and for the better. Maybe I've always been the punk rocker that's been more independent than everyone else, and this episode just awakened my self-realization of that, or maybe out of it I grew into a mindset that has kept me going since then. Either way, my coming of age scenario wasn't easy, and the aftermath still hasn't been, but it's led me down a path to find myself, and where I truly belong. Though describing my life changing experience may seem bland once put into subjective words onto a piece of paper, it was a heartfelt event that has painfully brought me to the person I am currently. If I were to summarize my projected message into a sentence that easily conveyed what I've learned so far in life, all I'd have to say is: “Though people may discourage and abrasively belittle your ability to think on your own, don't ever let your beliefs be strayed, because after all, that's what truly matters.” Nobody has ever let me be my independently driven self (until now) but this is who I am, whether people like it or not.


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Comments (2)

rtaki said

at 9:54 am on Sep 10, 2010

I can truly say, that this is a story that truly, "pulled my heartstrings." It has large descriptive phrases, and words that paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind of what you were going through and the suffering and depression that this school put you through. The quotes that you used help give an example of what your saying, and just make everything more descriptive! it is a story that i could see made into a novel and being read my people all over. This truly expresses something that is a massive issue all over. Great job!

gchavez-gehrig said

at 8:10 pm on Sep 21, 2010

Expressive story but it doesn't possess an actual coming of age moment, it was more like a long gradual process. You expressed it well though and told exactly how you felt.

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