When we think of rebels, we think of those radical, anti-establishment, hippie, tree-loving people. At least I do. I’m definitely not alone in this. I’ve also felt that that preconceived notion of rebellion –at least on the surface– sort of fueled my need to be creative and innovative. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like it’s a bit limited.. to say that would mean that all the artsy fartsy kids have all the fun. And while I’m pretty artsy myself, I’m just going to assume that you aren’t. And you don’t have to be to be completely liberated.
You could be the most straight-laced, shoe -shining, tie-wearing motherfucker and still feel the freedom and liberation.
While going against the crowd might come easy to some, for most of us, it’s a learned lifestyle. We have to constantly keep that idea in the front of our minds, and Jesus it’s hard to stick to it when there’s no one else who’s “down with it.” Just a little background on me: I’m from a upper-middle class suburb, and I go to a 55k/year school. I’m spoiled like hell. My mom gives me whatever I want, even though I don’t ask for much. And I hate it. It’s definitely not teaching me how to fend for myself..but that’s another post.
The bottom-line is, we must hangout and thrive with like-minded individuals, and it doesn’t have to be art students! Be a part of a movement, whether it’s here, or over at Uncollege.org, or even at The Art of Non-Conformity. We can’t do this alone, and it’s obvious, but while it’s nice to have online e-buddies, it’s also important to actively pursue people who think this way in your immediate environment. Local networking groups? Try The Art of Active Networking. (I see the irony of recommending places with “art” in it, but you don’t need to be artsy. Seriously. Stop thinking that you do. Fool.)
You don’t need to learn how to paint, photograph, draw, freakin anything like that, but you do need to be able to think creatively. What do I mean? Progress is driven by innovation, and pushing the boundaries of what is conventionally acceptable.
So see what you can get away with.
As Seth Godin once wrote, “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.” Have you always felt like you had to impress your parents? a boss? your friends? some girl(or guy)? Think of something that has limited you because you were afraid of the repercussions that would happen if you did take that action.
Do it, and see what happens.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process, how you deal with problems, etc. No paint brushes needed.