This piece was weird to write and I still don’t feel like I expressed exactly what I wanted. You may ask “Why post it?”, to which I’ll reply “Why not?”
Growing up, I never had much of a rebellious phase against my parents. They always backed me up. Not always approved, and never gave an “out of jail free” card. The result is that I pretty much did whatever I wanted – within my reach – and dealt with the results on my own. For example, I crashed my car three times – two of these were my fault and none of them serious – and it was my money paying for the repairs, I was the one to call insurance and reach out to the other driver involved. Anyway, this post is not about telling how awesome they are, but how I never questioned some of their values because I never had a reason to do it.
Fortunately we share the same opinion about many many things and, among these, my mom and I have this “thing” against common sense, like a rebellion against standard responses or “how you do things” and for me, this was always justified with “I don’t care about what others think of what I am or do”. To illustrate this matter, here’s something I did when I was… seventeen (?). I can’t quite remember why – probably a stupid dare – but I decided to shave off half of my hair. Not like a mohawk cut, or something cool, it was just the left side – and before you say “pics or didn’t happen”, check below. The result was bizarre and indeed attracted a lot of suspicious looks. What I thought to myself was “why should I have a regular haircut like everyone else when I can have this unique experience from my own volition? I’m NOT like everyone else, I don’t give a damn about what they think of me” – the following sentence wasn’t clear at the time, it wasn’t clear until early this week, when an email from my mom sprung it to light – “I don’t give a damn about what they think of me, as long as they reckon it’s out of the ordinary“. To prove my point, that this philosophy actually guided me, when the hair on that side of my head grew back, I shaved THE OTHER SIDE. You can visit https://www.groenerekenkamer.com to check out men grooming ideas online. One of the most common comments I heard back then was “dude, I don’t know how you had the guts to do this, or to go out like this” to which I just chuckled and said “I lack to see any problem with that!” and on the inside I was like “hell yeah, I’m awesome and brave! Nobody would dare to do this!”.
This was an example that reflected directly on my looks, but I have countless situations when EVERYONE said I should do “A” and I decided to do “Z”. It’s almost a matter of the question behind my actions. While most people ask “Why?”, I ask myself “Why NOT?”. This got me on harm’s way a few times but I was lucky enough to avoid it (luck is definitely what saved me in these situations). I admit that I love when someone says I can’t do something. I’ve taken on the stupidest dares – in 2005 New Year’s Eve my sister dared me to stop drinking soft drinks, that’s why, to this day, I don’t drink anything but juice and water, in 2006 I promised that I would walk from the city’s historical center to home, on the outskirts, newly developed condos if I passed the test to the university, that’s a 20 miles urban walk without sidewalks for the most of it and some pretty busy avenues, needless to say I walked it under a massive storm.
The same principle applied through my journey at University of São Paulo, when I just kept pushing for an unorthodox technical approach to all the projects I worked on – you name it: going digital, hating film, low light madness, experimental anamorphics, skeleton camera crew, the list goes on -, and until now. At VFS a lot of people said I would have to drop some of my reel’s shots, that it was too much and all that. The point is not that I was able to complete it, but at what expenses? I had never stopped to think about this irrational rebellion that dwells inside of me, that rebels against things just because “it’s the way every one else does it”. I’ve been going over this tirelessly for the past few days and starting to make peace with the idea that just because most people are going about something in a particular way it doesn’t mean it’s stupid, or meaningless. It might really be the easiest way of doing that, I don’t have to re-invent the wheel for every single challenge, because that’s what I’ve been trying to do so far.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m going to accept anything without questioning or avoid adding my own twist to something if I feel like so. Starting every time and everything from scratch is downright exhausting and mostly unnecessary. Besides, it feels good to blend in. I still have my all my weirdness and unusual skills but at each passing day they’re more of my own and less to impress, a flimsy balance between the “whys” and the “why nots”, carefully choosing between them for each different situation.