It happened my junior year of high school.
I stood in my bedroom, donning jean overalls, hair in scrunchy, Dru Hill spinning in the discman.
Suddenly, the disruption, the idea…arrived.
I wouldn’t stick around and become a ‘townie’, get married and have babies after senior year.
I would go to New York City. And Philly would be a four-year pit stop.
Little did I know what I was applying for. I was a 17 year old girl from Lancaster County, PA.
A girl with middle class, hard-working, parents; rooted locals if you will.
I was their wanderluster-to-be daughter. A country girl with a seed.
Looking back, that was my first call toward rebellion, or doing life differently than the majority.
That seed was my internal compass, my point of difference, my unique-as-a-snowflake guide in the world—navigating college to career to city life and beyond.
As a 30-something, I’m a ride-or-die rebel.
You see, the brules, or bullsh*t rules, society tells us are the way to live? I confront. Question. Poke holes in.
These are a few of my personal favorites:
BRULE: Get a 9 to 5—like everyone else.
ME: I’ll be my own boss, and create time, location and financial freedom, no matter what it takes, thank you very much.
BRULE: Marry, buy a house, have kids ASAP (in that exact order).
ME: I’d rather date my heart out, throw my paycheck at my rent, crush a career and travel the world first.
BRULE: Eat like an American.
ME: I’ll invest in organic and play like the Mediterraneans, they’re on to something.
BRULE: Stress = Success
ME: I’ll be deploying the peace police to eradicate stress from my life almost completely.
BRULE: Relationships ALWAYS lose their luster
ME: I will do the work so my relationship gets better, deeper, hotter, stronger—guaranteed.
Brules have managed to shape society, inhibit free thinking, trap people into lives, jobs, relationships they would otherwise abandon in a quick, rebellious heart beat. But I often wonder, is rebellion nurtured or natured? Many would argue it comes down to a mix of personality, values, background, childhood, etc., etc., Or, it could be that it’s a fire within, that only certain people can feel it’s flame, it’s beckoning. I’m not sure why I happen to be one of those people, but I thank my lucky stars.
What about you? If you’re reading this, I imagine there’s a level of curiosity.
Let’s explore the 5 signs you’re a rebel.
1) You say NO to status quo. You’re not one to get caught up in the minutia of life. You have ideas, plans and goals that others might deem ‘too big’ or ‘impossible.’ You see possibility. Ordinary and mediocre stand no chance in your life story.
2) Authority makes you gag. You see the world not through hierarchies or titles or pay scales—but humans and humans. You have zero tolerance for abuse of power and always find a** kissers to have made a deal or two with the devil. And if there was a humans are equals taskforce, you’d be on it.
3) You’ve never felt the need to conform or follow the herd—and you’re perfectly OK with it. You have a deep, inner knowing and confidence and a sizable internal GPS to match. You move to the beat of your own drum. Follow the leader, who? You.
4) You’re a risk taker. Going against the grain is your forte—which, in part, means doing things that most aren’t willing to do. Whether it’s making a huuuuge and scary investment, traveling solo just ‘cause, packing up and moving to a new city, or taking on debt to pursue your purpose (because you just know, duh)…your risky business is just that, yours!
5) You’re ‘different’ from those around you. My hunch is…you’ve probably known this for a while. While other people are out there doing the ‘common folk’ stuff—you’re dreaming/daring/doing. This is because you’ve awakened the part of you that is sleeping in many. You’re connected to a deeper knowing, a sense of self that is soul-led. This could be the result of a personal, spiritual or religious practice, intuitive prompts or just knowing.
If all signs point to REBEL, congratulations! If not, you’re still awesome.
Special notice to the rebels:
Rebellion can be a lonely sport. Especially for women, since being perfect, agreeable and doing the right thing is engrained in us oh-so early on. Even earlier, as far back as our ancestor hunter-gatherer days, it was all about having tribe. The minute you were kicked out of tribe, you were ahem, (dead).
Not today, fearless rebel you. You join the big company of movers and shakers, change makers, global leaders, light workers and creators and healers. We need you.
You’re special. Steve Jobs special. Oprah special. No-name special.
Let that flame shine bright.