Coming Out Of The (Broom) Closet

When I was thirteen years old, I dyed my hair jet black, wore purple lipstick, and dressed exclusively in long, flowy dresses in dark hues. If it didn't look like Stevie Nicks would wear it, I wouldn't wear it. Well-meaning family friends would tell my parents, "Oh, don't worry. It's just a phase."

And, judging by outward appearances, they were right.

I don't know a single person who doesn't want to believe they're impervious to peer pressure, but I think most of us know better. How else did if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too? become such a cliched thing for a parent to say? Because they know from experience that no one is immune to the impact of peer pressure.

To make a long story short, I started dressing like a "normal person." Jeans and tees, sneakers, even (occasionally) pink lipstick. Now, granted, the majority of my clothes were -- and still are -- black, white, and gray, but the flowing Stevie dresses and six inch platforms were relegated to the far end of my closet.

But I never stopped listening to the music or loving the art and literature. I never stopped feeling like an outsider, only now I was an outsider dressed like everybody else, all but invisible to the very group of people I could relate to.

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should because I love chatting with you guys), then you'll have probably figured it out. But in case you haven't guessed already, I'll just come clean: I am a goth.
I personally think subgenres divide a culture that was created to give a group of people with similar interests a sense of fellowship, but if you must slap a label on me, I am a hippie goth, although I've also been called a witchy goth, which I prefer.

That's why I call this coming out of the broom closet. (Da-dum-tsh! What, no applause? Anybody? Bueller?)

What brought on the big reveal was actually a work-related email.

As a blogger, I'm fortunate enough to receive a few freebies for review, and when I've been really lucky, I've even gotten to work with brands I love.

Anywhoodle, the email! I won't name names, but I was contacted by a brand known for its cutesy-preppy aesthetic. After a few minutes of staring blankly at the email, stunned that someone from this company even knew I existed, I mulled over the possibility.

You could do it, I thought. They're offering you stuff, and it's free! 

The problem was that it just wasn't me at all. I would be a fraud. Worse, I would be a liar and a fraud. And that's not who I am. That's not who I want to be.

So I thanked my contact for reaching out to me because I truly was flattered and told him that I felt like we wouldn't be a good fit. I felt like a weight had been lifted the instant I hit the send button.

It's not a pleasant thing to realize I've been... not outright deceiving anyone, but certainly misleading them with my generic Instagram feed, and that ends, too. (That's not to say you'll never see another picture of minimalistic rose gold jewelry because I genuinely love the stuff, but you'll be seeing a lot more animals and chandeliers and cathedrals, too).
I've been shopping for my new bedroom, and it feels good to indulge in the dark decor that I love without worrying about what anyone would think when I posted pictures on Instagram. Also, a friend of ours is a long-time goth, and when I came out joyously leapt out of the broom closet to her, she recalled our first meeting five years ago and said, "I thought you were gonna tell me you slept in a coffin."

My brother-by-another-mother said he was glad to see me "being me again," and I'd never dressed anything but "typical university student" when we hung out. It's uncanny to me that, even when I was dressed like everybody else, certain people intuitively knew it was only a costume.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but there is a certain pressure in the blogging world -- even with small blogs like mine -- to fit into a specific mold. To review certain products, photograph your flatlays just so, make sure you have the most stylish new sunglasses even if they make you look like a bug.

That's not me, and if I'm busy dividing my time between looking the part and doing my job as a researcher and product tester, then I'm only half-assing everything I do. And I don't believe in half-assing.  

Always use your full ass.

In fact, as devastated as I was that all of my old entries were deleted, now I see it as a second chance. I get to start all over again, only this time, I can be myself.

What does that mean for the future of my blog?

Absolutely nothing.  You'll still get my honest opinion on books, movies, products, and I'll share life's little lessons as I learn them.

I'm not going to suddenly bombard you with reviews on Manic Panic's white foundation. That's not my aesthetic (although it is a gorgeous one), and there are loads of bloggers out there who use it on the daily and can give you much better reviews than I ever could.

I'm through with trying to adopt a style that doesn't suit me be it normcore or traditional goth. (Again with the subgenres, but so many goths love them and feel like it gives them another layer of identity, and I will never tell anyone who they can or can't be).

In fact, there will probably be some goths out there gnashing their teeth, waving their chalk-white face powder, and muttering, "But you can't be goth if you don't look goth!"

But there are so many different ways to look goth. If we all looked the same, we'd be boring, and isn't that the opposite of what we are as a subculture? Wearing a pale green bomber jacket with my otherwise all black outfit isn't gonna make me love Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds any less. Knowing all the words to Blank Space doesn't mean I haven't watched The Crow over 300 times.

I'm almost thirty-five years old. Thirty-five. I'm not adopting a new style because it's trendy (it isn't) or because I want to impress some guy (ew, no, who even does that?)

I haven't changed; I've just stopped hiding.

Who else wants to share a secret?


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