…but what if I’m not part of the flock?
FLOCK: A Story About Authenticity
(Previously known as: “flyin away from the h8rs”)
She was proud of who she was. Self-confident and never afraid to show the world her true self, she was as authentic as could be. A self-proclaimed fashion-guru, she chose to express herself through mixed patterns, vibrant colours, and textured fabrics.
On a day in mid-May, the sun beamed down onto the Earth giving her a burst of inspiration like it was a giant lightbulb above her head. She formed the outfit carefully. Matching and experimenting, she composed the outfit to how she was feeling; joyous, confident, and as bright as the sun in the sky. It was an outfit fixed to perfection. She wore a pair of black flowy shorts that gave off the silhouette of a skirt, clenching in at her waist giving her the body of her dreams. She paired it with a fitted floral top that peeked out of her sun-yellow cardigan. A mixture of fun and maturity, this was the outfit. She looked at herself in the mirror and emotions washed over her. She never felt more beautiful, she never felt more herself.
Hopping out of the car, she imagined herself playing in slow-motion, with a fan blowing her hair back like a movie scene. Opening the doors to the school, she felt empowered and held her head up high. Encased by the chattering of excited students, she waited for her friends to greet them for the day. Back against the wall, her heart fluttered, smile growing on her face, “This is who I am”, she whispered.
Moments later, her friends marched down the hall. She wasn’t the only one walking in slow-motion today. The clique’s strut was just as movie-like. A confident “hello” barely escaped her mouth before venom began to fly. Her friends surrounded her, spitting hurt in her direction. Insults, cackling, and pointed fingers sent her mind into a frenzy. She felt like a lone predator being attacked by a giant herd of prey. Back against the wall, her heart thudded, fear growing in her mind, “I have no escape”, she thought.
The bell echoed through the halls giving her the exit she needed. She walked off, head lowered, reflecting on the events that just took place. She was hurt, tears teased in the corners of her eyes and she was tempted to break. She was tempted to grab her spare outfit and change. She was tempted to be like everyone else.
For the first time, she felt out of place. In an environment with so many people, she didn’t understand how she managed to feel so alone. It was like being a bird flying against its flock. Thoughts rushed through her mind as she made her way to class. The voices in her head were arguing, yelling, screaming with one another. It was as if the activities of the morning startled each emotion awake on the wrong side of the bed.
Each feeling was strong, but none had the amount of power as the one called pride. It told her to stay true to herself, no matter the circumstances. Slowly, her head began to rise. Every other emotion was silenced as pride’s voice grew louder in her mind. She thought, “This is who I am, true and authentic.”
Even if she flies alone, against her flock, she has no boundaries to fly by. There are no rules to travel in a certain direction or to stay in a v-formation. She may be on her own, but at least she is free.