LIZ VAN PAY

the ramblings of a music journalist and nearly-published author.

Posts Tagged ‘personal

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my blog! While I tried to keep my blog going here last year, I’ve been trying to rediscover writing and in that, have created a new blog, where I actually post pretty much every day! For a continuous taste of all things Liz, check out my new site here!

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Written by Liz Van Pay

April 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I used to be straight edge.

with 3 comments

Growing up, many kids desire a feeling of belonging. A feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves. For me, that wasn’t being part of the high school Yearbook Club, or the Drama Club… I wanted to go bigger than that. For six years, I considered myself straight edge – abstaining from “the big three” – alcohol, drugs, and promiscuous sex. From age fifteen until age twenty-one, I lived and breathed everything edge. I listened to the music, I went to the shows, hell, I even got three X’s tattooed. As I grew up, things changed. The people changed. The scene changed. When I got into it, edge was something serious. While it wasn’t classified as a gang then as it is now, everyone’s intentions were much purer. Everyone genuinely cared about giving straight edge a good name, instead of beating it to an unrecognizable pulp.

Some have argued with me and said that I only gave up on it because I wanted to drink and do drugs. Not true. As I grew up and spent more years involved in the scene, I realized that upstarts were showing up out of the woodwork. They claimed that they were abstaining from not only alcohol, drugs, and sex, but caffeine, meat, and a myriad of other things – and many of them were selectively so. The boys would abstain from alcohol and drugs, but still bang everything on two legs. Straight edge became more of a joke than a serious movement. As I grew up, I also realized that I didn’t want to live my life with boundaries – even self-inflicted ones. One thing had to go, and it was my straight edge lifestyle. While I still feel passionate about the time I spent, I couldn’t feel good about continuing. Straight edge was turning into something it was never meant to be. The straight edge movement I became a part of at age fifteen is something completely different than what it’s turned into. In recent years, it has been considered a gang instead of a movement. I couldn’t be a part of it then, and could never be now.

This is not to say that straight edge is entirely flawed. I know many people who have been edge for five, ten years, or their entire lifetime. They still carry the original beliefs of the movement, and I have no problem with that whatsoever. I would never do anything but commend those who have stuck with their original decision.

Before I broke edge, I questioned my family and closest friends, asking if their opinions of me would be different based on my decision. Their answer? “We love you no matter what you want to be.” Their blessing was important to me. I have never been and will never be a selfish person, and I want my family and friends to be part of any big decisions I make – especially the life-altering ones.

Just because straight edge changed, I am not blaming others for my decision. Straight edge is a very personal decision, and it just didn’t fit me anymore. Looking back after nearly four years, I can say that I wouldn’t change a thing. I still have family and friends who are proud of my accomplishments, and am still proud of myself. I volunteer on a weekly basis, and I work a full-time job. Just because I decided to break edge, I did not decide to become a terrible person. If anything, I’ve become a better one.

A variation of this post was originally written for iusedtobestraightedge.com several months ago, but was not selected for posting.

Written by Liz Van Pay

April 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Posted in 2010, personal, random

Tagged with ,