1. God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.
Elementary school Al. A Bible and a backpack. When I was a little kid, Mom kept my hair SUPER long; about down to my waist. I finally got it cut to about my shoulders in third grade and have kept my hair pretty short throughout most of my life. I attended a Lutheran elementary school, K-6 (despite being Catholic) and continued to take catechism classes until my Confirmation in high school.
I was a bright, happy child. Wearing little jumpers that Mom made for me, buckle shoes, and my first pair of glasses (I've had to wear corrective lenses since third grade). Mom made me take piano lessons. I've always been a tomboy; I wore shorts underneath any sort of skirt and played soccer with the other boys at recess. My favorite music was J-Pop.
2. I Hate You
Middle school Al. Middle school was an unhappy time for me in many ways (and I'm sure it was for you as well). I was hit with depression and my core group of friends had disappeared. I've never been social, and making new friends was difficult for me. I took up cello (I'm holding the bow) and began questioning my Catholic upbringing. I turned to Buddhism and found some peace of mind through its teachings and chakra meditations. I'm wearing some prayer beads I got from a temple in Los Angeles.
I don't know what happened, but I started dressing like Jimmy Page (despite not knowing who he was at all) and acting like a hippie. I really did have that outfit; there were Chinese dragons curling around the cuffs of my flare jeans and I had a purple sweater sort of thing with bell sleeves. I wore a headband every day. My favorite music, in contrast with the Hits of the 90s, was rock from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was stuff that my parents kind of raised me with; it was always in the background. Beatles, the Who, Dave Clark Five, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Elvis, etc.
High school Al. I ventured a little further into half-assed cross-dressing. I bought men's clothes; that's a men's Flogging Molly shirt I'm wearing. It doesn't fit properly and is stretched across my child-bearing hips. I had a pixie haircut for about the last 2 years that I tried to spike out (see profile pic). I often wore knee high socks with my boy shorts and, subsequently, went out pretty much covered from the neck down. I had that military jacket (it too had bell sleeves). I'm still wearing Chucks.
I started fencing at age 15 (this absolutely changed my life), so I'm holding an epee. You can see my "Gonzo" wristband, as well as my Buddhist beads, on my wrist. I started wearing necklaces; always at least 2. I was a rude motherfucker. I listened to a lot of rock and punk; GOOD STUFF like the Clash, the Ramones, Rancid, Sex Pistols. I think the messages from those songs really helped form my political opinions, and I joined the Young Democrats. Another favorite band was Queen and I was still playing cello in orchestra, and some kid would tell me he knew of a band that I'd probably like because "it's like Queen, but faster...harder."
4. I'm Taking Back my Soul
4. I'm Taking Back my Soul
College Al. Since that life-changing event (and meeting that kid), I live on a steady diet of heavy metal (and tons of other things, but mostly metal). I grew out my hair; this is the longest it's been in about 9 years. I ditched the Chucks for Doc Marten boots. Still wearing boy shorts, but at least the shirt fits properly. I don't own that shirt, but I'd definitely buy it. The knee high socks took a back seat to regular socks, but they show up every now and then. I still wear spikes and have added Amon Amarth soft wristbands and a ring. My ears are pierced.
College, more than anything, has fueled my crazy liberal ideals. I'm continually getting fed up with establishments. My John Lennon frames are relevant. I'm stressed and angry and politically incorrect. I'm chunky (sorry if I depicted myself as thin; I am not) and kind of stocky. I'm not nice. I'm absolutely happy with myself.
I look forward to many more incarnations and evolutions and stages!