Ask anyone I went to school with, and they will tell you that Lynette Ruby was not a girly girl – that is to say if I am even remembered by my name, and not “that angry short girl with the pixie haircut.” I thought giving in and having fun with something girly like a movie, book, or pop song would ultimately undo whatever tough personae I’d worked to cultivate. There were certain things I would not allow myself to enjoy…well, not publicly at least. There were pop bands I’d deny enjoying, movies I’d claim I didn’t want to see, books I wouldn’t read, and more feminine looks I would refuse to wear.
In school, I ran with other kids on the fringes of society; the wanna-be hackers, skateboarders, goths, punks – the tougher you looked, and more piercings you had, the cooler I thought you were. I thought we were the non-conformists. I tried so hard to not conform that in the end…I was conforming. I would deny liking certain things to keep up the image…well, whatever image it was I had.
Cut to college – wait…cut to after college – and you’ll find me to be a bit…a bit more…girly. Becoming the awesome Lynette you may know and love today was no easy journey – and it certainly wasn’t without loads of awkwardness. You know that MTV show, Awkward.? Yeah, it had nothing on me. They don’t know what real awkward is. Let me give you a quick sampling of my awkward “becoming a butterfly” stage in life:
- Accidentally getting a Mr. Spock haircut while trying to grow out from a pixie cut – ladies it takes more patience than you will even know to grow out a pixie.
- Having to consult YouTube videos on how to do a proper pony tail – yeah, it was that bad.
There’s loads more stories – loads – but I have to keep a shred of your respect. I was almost like an alien trying to figure out how to be an Earthling girl. There were sad and funny moments in this transformation. I just wanted to finally do what I wanted to do – whether or not my peers agreed. If I wanted to do something outrageously girly, I was finally giving myself permission. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not that girly, but compared to what I was? Uh…yeah!
People from high school come in to my library all the time, and hardly anyone recognizes me. So, what is my point of this post? Be as weird and as awkward as you want – really! But, please, make sure it’s what you want to do. If you want to be a punk who loves Gossip Girl – you go right ahead. You want to read Batman comics, skateboard, have pink hair, and dress like Audrey Hepburn? Do it!
Don’t feel like a beautiful butterfly yet? Start with figuring out what you actually like, not just what you’re friends and everyone expects you to like. You’ll be more beautiful the moment you act like your true self. Your metamorphosis won’t happen overnight, and is doubtful to be without its awkwardness – but just remember I decided to get girly at 25 years old. It’s never too soon to be the person you really want to be.
Here are a few titles that might spark your interest: Creagh, Kelly. Nevermore. 2010
Lyga, Barry. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. 2007
Reger, Rob. Emily the strange. 2012.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. 2007.
Article by Lynette, Newburg Branch