I Was A Teenage Trend Lover & Hater

Jezebel did an article yesterday on being a teenage trend hater. I'll admit right off the bat that shortly after becoming unemployed in August I devoured the Twilight books. Did I enjoy them? Not really. They started off as so bad it was good and then just became so bad it made my head hurt. Do I get why they're the most popular thing ever right now? Oh yeah. It's epic teenage love involving the sexy supernatural being there is: vampires. Vampires who speak to teenage girls in a way that most teenage girls can barely imagine. Will I be seeing the movie? Two words for you : Robert. Pattinson. And not because I dream about us being together (though he's pretty nice to look at) but because his publicity tour of "This movie is horrible" has been endlessly amusing to me. If you don't know what I'm talking about look up some of his recent interviews on YouTube.

I've never really followed fashion or hair or shoe trends, much preferring to do my own thing because I figured out pretty easily what works for me. But pop culture trends have always been something of a weakness to me. If a song is big on the radio right now I probably know it and often times love it. If a book series is popular I've probably read it. When reality tv became the new face of television I jumped on that bandwagon and thanks to Bravo and VH1 I'm still riding it around in big, tacky circles. When it comes time for the Oscars I've usually seen most of the Best Picture nominees and if I haven't I at least know what they're about.

I think it's important to realize that sometimes popular things have their worth. I learn about things because I read a lot and pay attention and tend to know when something is popular but I wouldn't say I like anything because it's popular. And when a trend starts to fade I'm usually one of the last hanger-ons, often liking something long after it's passed the point of being out-dated.

I discovered an old book full of Baby-Sitter's Club books in my parents' basement last year and spent a dorky but fun afternoon reading through a few of them. At 27 I could still recognize what I liked about them when I was 10. I could also point to NKOTB's newly rediscovered success as proof that we weren't all completely insane in 1990. Trends are the things that smack us across the face and make us pay attention because they speak to some part of us as a collective body of consumers. They're shiny and fun and have often have nothing to do with reality as we have to know it. Sitting at home right now writing cover letter after cover letter that I increasingly feel like no one will ever read I occasionally need to crank up some Britney just to feel sparkly for a few minutes.

Of course if we could all just agree that wedding receptions would be better off without The Electric Slide and The Macarena I'd be okay with that.


Here I Am Again

Journals and me go back a long way. I can remember being in first grade and trying to keep a diary. It was hard at the time and I realize now it's because not many first graders have all that much to journal about in depth. I certainly didn't. Journaling for me has always been about taking the pieces of my soul that I can't figure out and attaching words to them. Not to say that I was particularly uncomplicated six year old because I wasn't. But the scope of my complications and the words I knew to describe them were much smaller.

These days every time I sit down to write I'm struck with a million conflicting thoughts and issues and things to say about them. It becomes easier to just talk because anyone who knows me knows that talking is not an issue for me. Shutting up and getting to a point maybe but not talking. Except talking means having to listen and not so much to what the other person is saying but to myself. That's when everything becomes real. That's when I have to stop pretending that I honestly feel like my life is alright.

So I've become something of a mute these days with the words I do use usually meaning nothing. This is my attempt to get the better of that urge. To stop ignoring and hiding and pretending like what I watched on TV is the most important thing I have to talk about. It's so I'll stop waking up every morning and asking myself "How?" and "Why?" and "Seriously universe?" and start coming up with answers to those questions.

Something about blogging has always felt a bit self indulgent to me but I think I've reached that point where I need to indulge myself. I need to have long conversations with myself where I figure what the last ten years of my life have really been about and what I honestly want to happen now. I can't promise that I'll always make sense and I can only fervently promise that I hope to be entertaining. I tend to cry and laugh in equal measures and sometimes at the same time.

People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

- Elizabeth Gilbert