I would hardly label myself a rebellious person, strong-willed perhaps but ultimately I’m a goody-two-shoes. Even as a teenager I always chose to try to argue my way to permission, rather than simply go against my parent’s wishes. Even when I went through the phase where I wanted a belly button ring (it was the early 2000’s and low rider jeans were big – no judgement) which my father was vehemently against, I waited until I was 18 and then took my mother along with me when I got it done.
My very small acts of passive rebellion have largely been concentrated into two areas: my clothing and my passion for books. In high school (and really, continuing on into my working life) I have hated the idea of being forced to dress like everyone else. From a young age I wanted to choose what I wore (which drove my mother crazy, since my tastes ran to party dresses and tutus for quite some time) and I would find small ways to rebel against my strict catholic school uniform in high-school – an easy thing to do since our uniform code was unnecessarily strict. Now, I work in a large corporate environment and I refuse to wear a black suit or go a day without colour. It’s a small thing, but it’s something that defines me and a way that I feel like I can be true to my identity in an environment which favours, above all else, compliance.
In university I took a business degree, because I didn’t make it into Law. Truthfully, I never really wanted to get into Law…I never really wanted to get into Business either. I wanted to do an Arts degree and major in Literature. Being young and wanting to please my parents who worked hard to afford my sister and I a good education, I did the “right thing” and chose a sensible degree which I hated for the 4 years it took me to complete.
The one thing which got me through university was the fact that I used a large portion of my electives to do the arts subjects I was interested in: Introduction to literature, creative writing, writing your life…much more interesting than Macroeconomic Theory.
I still have the anthology from my Introduction to Literature class which introduced me to so many wonderful authors including Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allen Poe. I keep this book close as a reminder of what I want to do in life, to keep me on track with my writing when I feel like I should be doing the sensible thing and focusing on my corporate career and to remind me that my rebellion (not matter how small or passive) is my way of sticking up for what I believe in.