by Dani Cooke
If you’re anything like me, you’re not exactly well-known for your spontaneity. Some may call you neurotic; others prefer gentler terms such as “high-strung” or “ball of stress.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, right? I mean, I got out of a car without stopping fully once on the Pearl Street mall and got yelled at by a park ranger. One of my most-listened-to playlists on Spotify is all about the Riot Grrrl movement. I got an infraction for being forty seconds late to school. If that isn’t badass, I don’t know what is.
(Okay, there are a lot of things more badass than this. But, in the words of comedian and twitter queen Aparna Nancherla, “Any bus can be a party bus if you are prepared to let people down with your idea of what ‘fun’ is.”)
For those of us who are more inclined toward the timid, letting loose becomes a task in and of itself. Being a little bit rebellious is something we begin to frame in our minds as a pass-fail endeavor. For the sake of all of our shoulder muscles, I’ve compiled this list of mildly rebellious experiences in the hopes that we can feel a bit more at ease with ourselves and let go some of this tension we so tightly carry.
◦ Sit in a coffee shop to do homework — without buying anything.
◦ Draw someone with tattoos and piercings.
◦ Teach yourself to do something edgy teens do in ‘80s movies, like playing pool or having an absurd fashion sense.
◦ Swear in your own personal journal.
◦ Listen to incredibly loud music in a designated quiet space, such as a library… through your headphones.
◦ Tell that stranger on public transit that you think they’re pretty.
◦ Wear funky socks, earrings, etc.
◦ Climb a tree.
◦ Dance around in your room… with the blinds open.
◦ Paint an old t-shirt or pair of jeans you planned on throwing out anyway.
◦ Take a slightly different route than usual on your way to work, your home, school, et cetera.
◦ Make an artsy kind of mess.
◦ Sketch out tattoos you’ll likely never end up getting.
◦ Design the tag you would use if you were to become a street artist. (Or, to take it one step further, create graffiti [inside a public building, so as not to litter] using sticky notes.)
◦ Say almost every day with confidence that you plan on dropping out of school, every day becoming a bit ◦ more serious until, on the day you graduate, you leave high school behind and move on toward better things.
◦ Be kind to people who aren’t kind to you in return.
◦ Make friends that scare you. (i.e. Insanely outgoing people, “dancing barefoot in the rain” kinds of people.)
◦ Be a “dancing barefoot in the rain” kind of person.
And, if all else fails, know you’re not alone. If everyone was a wild child, no one would have given it a jazzy nickname. (And life is a lot more fun with jazzy nicknames.)