|Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s|
As I've gotten older, those pressures and societal constraints have changed but not gone away completely. I wouldn't exactly be able to wear my hair like Cyndi in my job as a college instructor (at least not at the conservative Midwest college where I am). But at least I don't have to worry about my school mates or church anymore.
I've come to realize that is one of the great things about getting older. I can look back at those things that prevented me from expressing my true self when I was younger and make the decision to leave those things behind. I'm going to be me whether anyone likes it or not, and those who don't like it will be ignored.
Whitesnake has a song released a few years ago called "Best Years" with the lyric These are the best years...of my life. I can really relate to that because these are the years that I know what I like, I'm unafraid to express myself, and I'm unwilling to spend time with people or in places that drain the happiness out of me. I will spend the 2nd half of my life with people I love, I will do things I like doing, and I will not spend time in places that make me feel bad about who I am or what I like. I will be truly, happily, geekily, authentically me.
Of course, that doesn't mean I still want Cyndi's haircut. But I still love this song: