I have shamelessly (or shamefully?) spent a majority of my life being very concerned about fitting or not fitting into other people’s stereotypes. In high school this meant that I could never listen to a band after they “sold out” and showed up on MTV. It also meant than I [mostly] refused to shop at the Gap like the “preppy” girls. I was independent, different, and no one really knew what I was all about because I was so complicated. So I became a girl with thrift store clothes, very baggy jeans, weird hair, and an attitude about life. I was all opinions and no facts.
In college I [very] slowly morphed into someone who could appreciate differences in people– even different tastes in music and clothing [shocking!]. I even, gasp, changed a little (some call that growing up). Now I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin. I don’t worry what people label me, or if I am fitting into an idealistically created image. It feels good. There is freedom in that. Be who you are…
HOWEVER, there are moments when I am back in high school and trying to prove that I am different than everyone else. I have been caught in those moments as of late. I imagine it won’t end until long after November. Political campaigns drive me crazy. I used to be very opinionated about politics– again all opinion and no facts. Now that I consider myself more informed and more able to articulate what I really believe in… I cannot make myself fit into any of the available boxes.
I can’t identify with the Republican or Democratic party. And I feel that voting for an independent party (even if I can agree with their agenda) would be throwing my vote away. Neither party reflects the direction I believe this country should really be going. Neither reflects my core beliefs. Neither are better or more honest. So I continue to sit the fence. I know that to people who are truly invested in the political process are rolling their eyes and shaking their fists at me… but I can’t make the choice.