We go through change on a daily basis. Some are small changes, like subscribing to Netflix instead of watching television.
Other changes can be pretty drastic, thanks to the increasing pressure to be hip and cool. I am sure many of us are guilty of changing ourselves to fit a particular mould or to be liked by our peers.
As a result, we might start to lose sight of who we are on the inside.
Sad to say but...I am one of these people.
THE GIRLS OF MEAN GIRLS WERE DEFINITELY AHEAD OF THEIR TIME.
Recently, I bumped into an old friend on the train. We've known each other for about 13 years, but we haven't met up in over two years.
After 20 minutes of catching up, he said one of the most peculiar things I ever heard: "Dude, I don't know...The essence of Brandon is there, but you look so different from the one I know because of the bling and clothes you have going on now."
That definitely got me spinning the whole week. Maybe I was overthinking it, but I had a sudden epiphany while thinking about what he said.
It suddenly hit me that no amount of clothing, shoes and jewellery has changed my principles and personality, so why should I feel affected by what he said?
After all, I am still the same person – but with better clothes and more sparkles.
I started changing my look drastically when I found myself ousted by my closest clique of friends during the few months of my final year in secondary school.
I couldn't help but feel absolutely worthless. And I absolutely hated being nothing. If I had to become someone totally different to be "better", I was ready to put in the work and cash.
At 17, as I was entering polytechnic, I made it my life's mission to become the most "polished" version of who I am. I started investing in better clothes and paid more attention to my hair to look as perfect as possible, so that I could avoid feeling vulnerable.
THE "POLISHED" BRANDON DRESSES LIKE THIS ON A DAILY BASIS.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/BRANDON CHIA
One of my favourite mottos is to "go big or go home". All the clothes I bought were stylish but crazy for our tropical climate. I'm talking jackets and blazers, pleather and cotton materials. Not to forget shoes that were so bright and sharp, you will notice them.
My transformation was like something out of The Princess Diaries. Everyone started to know me as "the fashionista" and my style has continued to evolve, even till today.
However, my exuberant fashion sense did not change my bubbly and overbearing personality. It just changed how I wanted to be seen by the masses.
How I look now definitely did not change my rather annoying American valley-girl-ish accent as well. I use words like "y'all", "seriouslyyyy", "totez" and "yassssss"way too many times than I care to admit.
I have always carried this air of confidence and eccentricity everywhere I went. The fact that I am quite acerbic in nature has never been much of an issue for most people too.
SERIOUSLY, PRINCESS MIA IS ME.
The thing is, the exterior shell that I created and now love, did not help me to become a "better" version of myself. There was never a need for me to do anything because it didn't really make me more likable.
In fact, it made me feel even more ousted sometimes.
Sometimes we feel so incredibly insecure about ourselves, thinking we aren't good enough, that we get so caught up with wanting to run away from the real us.
We go the extra mile to change in order to fit in with the crowd. But we end up not recognising the person we see in the mirror, standing before us.
We tend to put so much emphasis on how we want people to see us, till we forget what really matters: a good heart.
HOW CAN ANYONE NOT LIKE A GOOD PERSON WITH A GOOD HEART?
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/AUDREY LEONG
After realising that these changes were kind of pointless and unnecessary, I only have one regret.
I shouldn't have let my unhealthy obsession with reinventing myself make me neglect or discard some of my older friends, just because they reminded me of the bleak past when I felt weak.
Just thinking about how I made them feel as if I was "too cool" for them makes me feel disappointed with myself.
However, what's done is done. Besides, I do like what I've turned into. I am just going to remain as the same "polished Brandon", until a new change is necessary.
TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/AZRA RAUFF
BANNER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/BRANDON CHIA