Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2018
BACKLASH, 34 What’s Normal?
In today’s society the motto is “do what makes you happy”, until what makes you happy makes others uncomfortable. Growing up catholic in the suburbs it was ingrained that you cover up, go to college, get married, and you have kids. Pushing us all to be the same in that regard, and expecting a lot of someone by the time they are of a “certain age”.
I never wanted that conformed life. I have always leaped head first into things regardless of what I am “supposed” to be doing. When Tony asked me to write a piece for his blog and take photos of course I said “YES”! That also led to a slew of negative remarks from my more cooperate friends who must keep up “appearances”. My more creative/fit friends thought it was an amazing opportunity for me to express myself on so many levels.
A few of the women that criticized me fight their own insecurities and the inability to communicate feelings through tight dresses & plastic surgery. Just to gain social acceptance. I do not judge them either because at the end of the day, it is your life. The only regrets you will have are the chances you did not take.
Being comfortable in my own skin and communicating raw feeling through blogging seems to be worlds away from that zone of heavy judgment. Your job title does not make you a good person, the amount of money you make, or the level of education you have received. None of that has to do with your personality, or comfort in passing judgments on people you barely know.
My own mother thought she did something wrong in raising me because I chose to do something so far outside of her comfort zone that was the only explanation she had. Instead of her realizing she raised an opinionated self confident woman.
At almost 35, I like to think I make good decisions in my own time. I have made enough wrong choices early on to know what I’m getting myself into, what I like, don’t , and will more than likely be vocalizing that regardless of what other people think. I’m always in disbelief when older women cast a look of horror on me when I tell them how old I am, I’m not married, and childless. I would love to see the look on some of their faces at the photos from these blog posts.
Moving to Philadelphia was the best choice I could have made. I have learned so much about myself here. Philly is such a melting pot of cultures, history, art, sexual acceptance, random nights, and fast paced life. You can go from black tie gala to save a playground, to an underground house music party that goes till 7am all in one night. Not to mention all the amazing food this city has to offer.
The people I met over the last 8 years that have stuck around for all of my head first antics completely blow my mind. Being accepted for who you are is an amazing feeling. That is why I keep my circle of friends small and grateful for every one of them. I will continue to find that level of acceptance from people who I let into my life. One of my favorite quotes: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Einstein
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