the girl with the bracelet and baseball cap

joseph-perez-597275-unsplash
photo by Joseph Pérez on Unsplash

the other day i was wearing a bracelet and a baseball cap.

my grandparents gave me the bracelet as a graduation gift. it’s a thin ring of silver with a small gold ball holding the ends together. simple. elegant. classy. the way it dangles off my wrist makes me feel beautiful. i wear it a lot.

i wear my baseball cap a lot too. Yankees, of course. the color is a muted navy-gray. it’s a strapback, so the main hat part isn’t fitted. i like that—it’s comfortable and molds itself to my head. i like how i look in it too, cute and sporty and relaxed.

the bracelet sparkles in the same sun that the cap keeps out of my eyes. i look at my reflection in the window as i sit on the patio, and i wonder:

can you wear these two things at the same time? does it work?

– – • – –

sometimes i wear dangly earrings and Under Armour sweatshirts. sometimes i wear dresses and sporty sandals.

but other times i painstakingly match my earrings to my shirt and try on three different pairs of shoes to make sure the style corresponds perfectly with my outfit.

sometimes the descriptions of my personality type are so accurate they make me cry. sometimes i do or feel something that contradicts everything my type is supposed to be like. some articles about my type make me go yes. Yesyesyes. other times i close the tab and feel more alone than ever.

i guess that’s pretty common. they always tell you you’ll relate to some things and not to others. that personality types never completely capture everything about you.

maybe i’m trying to be unique when i’m really not. maybe this is a common human condition, this ache of always being a little abnormal, of never quite fitting into any one category. and yet don’t we all want to be special?

maybe this is the real ache—the war between wanting to fit in and wanting to be different.

i think most of us are afraid of standing out so much that we are ostracized not just from the general public but from those we want to approve of us. and i think most of us are also terrified of discovering we are merely common, that there are some duplicate snowflakes after all.

– – • – –

and here we are, back to paradoxes. we want both sides of the coin. we yearn to be special and we yearn to relate. we want uniqueness and we want connection.

at least, i do.

some days i want to be a paradox, with my sparkly ring and hiking boots. other days, i want to fit a certain category to the T. put my outfit up on your Pinterest board because it’s the epitome of classy/chic/sporty/fill-in-the-blank.

paradoxes within paradoxes.

to put a twist on Brandon Sanderson’s words, there is always another paradox.

that’s one of those words you can easily overuse. say it one too many times and you’re sick of it, it’s lost all its meaning.

same with trying to analyze myself—introspection is good, and i know i am often at fault in the other direction, of burying what is going on inside and not stopping to examine it until it bursts out in ugly ways. but you can think about yourself too much, easily. even when it starts out being a good thing.

and who am i to think i can untangle all my secrets? there is only one person who knows every facet of my rough-cut diamond, and it is not me.

– – • – –

i am a paradox. we all are.

if you ever see a girl with a gold and silver bracelet on her wrist and a Yankees cap on her head, say hi. if you feel comfortable, tell her some of your own contradictions. she’d like to know.


I’ll be out of town for the next few weeks, so I apologize in advance for very belated replies to comments. =) Have a wonderful midsummer!

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