As I wipe off the dust off of my vintage metal bucket, a flea market find that took a full minute of careful haggling to get the price down to something semi-reasonable, prepping it for a few drops of lavender oil and a bit of organic dish soap, a perfect mix for hand-washing my New Yorker tote, I can’t help but feel like I’m fulfilling a cookie-cutter stereotype of someone who is attempting to defy all cookie cutter stereotypes.

For years I’ve been telling all my friends that I simply “like what I like,” and if they feel the need to define me with something so drenched with un-ironic irony and societal distaste as a “hipster,” then that’s their problem.

Yet I find myself constantly feeling like if I did something that I’m semi-interested in doing, it would be too “On Brand” and I would be instantly identifying myself as a hipster and wouldn’t be just myself. I changed my outfit because a black long skirt with Doc Martens felt like too much. I didn’t get a nose ring because I know it would double the amount of people per day who ask me if I have joints stashed in my hair.

Football games cause me to short-circuit. My digestive system rejects all forms of meat. I only drink whiskey. I don’t wear bras. I love essential oils. My car got pulled over going into and out of Canada within four hours of each other, and it was probably because I drive a 2008 PT Cruiser jam-packed with dried flowers and eucalyptus, covered with bumper stickers such as “i’m already against the next war.” But to me, that’s all so much fucking fun, and no label should be able to deter me from what I want for my life.

While my hair hasn’t been brushed for about five years and my rounded glasses are from the men’s section of Lenscrafters, my brand cannot be defined by anyone but myself, and I don’t think I’ve finished cultivating it just yet.


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