Umbrella Rebel With A Cause
Fun fact: I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and haven’t owned an umbrella until just last year.
Florida gets afternoon storms in April and May that roll in every day like clockwork, but rain never lasts long here and those storms pass quickly, leaving behind little more than a mess of clouds in the sky and glistening pavement. Usually, you can just wait it out. It’s pretty common to see people congregating at store entrances watching the rain with passive faces, knowing that in a few minutes it will stop and they can go about their day. Bustling past them are the people who habitually watch the weather and whip out their umbrella at the smallest drizzle, too practical and busy to be delayed by a little rain.
As a teenager living in a conservative household I didn’t have many ways of acting out. I carried a rebellious seed in my heart and saw owning an umbrella as something only square, orderly adults did. I embraced the rain, and as a result felt like some badass 90s character flipping the bird as I walked across the parking lot while everyone else huddled under an awning or umbrella.
Yeeeah. As acts of rebellion go, not using an umbrella probably seems pretty dumb to most people. But while other kids my age were drinking at parties and having sex with their boyfriends I was reading banned books, silently protesting umbrellas through the rain, and skipping youth group to go buy candy at the seedy gas station around the corner.
I must be growing up, because I own an umbrella now.
I don’t know what finally did it. The part of me that stresses about getting older sees it as the beginning of the end (of my youth). The sensible part of me doesn’t like the thought of coming to work damp on days when the rain hasn’t stopped by the time I have to clock in.
All of me misses being a teenager forging a path in the wilderness of life. I miss how big the world felt at that age and how caring about owning an umbrella was on the same level as my personal identity in the world.
Part of me will always be that non-conforming rebel on the inside and feel at odds with this sensible, mature age I’m growing into. But it’s in those moments that I have to remind myself that everything ages, grows, and changes. You can’t stay the same forever.
Eventually you may find that those things you rejected when you were younger aren’t so bad, like owning an umbrella (or using shower caps and aprons, as I’ve been doing this past year. How fucking practical of me, ugh).
It doesn’t necessarily make me square. It just makes me the "me" I am right now. And I think that person is pretty okay.
For an adult. ;)