As I sit here in my PJ's anxiously waiting for tonight's episode of Scandal, I see streams of information on the web about what's hot and what's not. I also have conversations on Twitter about the status quo and why society is so quick to embrace a certain cultural figure and choose to demonize the next.
I'm not built for conformity.
It's difficult for me to be like everyone else. It's difficult for me to like what everyone else likes. I'm not very trendy or fashion forward, and I dislike most pop music. I just found out this past week on Saturday Night Live who Kendrick Lamar was. Yes I said it, I had no clue who this guy was. Prior to Saturday evening, if I were to run into him in a public place I'd react to him just the same as any other passerby on the street. I'm completely oblivious.
Now let me be straight with you, for most of my life starting from my tweenie years up until my 30s, I tried to be everyone I was not. I tried to be the party girl, I tried to change the intonation of my voice to sound less 'white', I spent ludicrous amounts of money on designer handbags, shoes, and other accessories, I chose to move to a city where I thought only the 'cool' people lived (actually I kinda wanna move back to NYC), I also tried to style my hair in ways that were more accepting to others than it was to myself and feared going natural.
I did all of those things and what did those painstaking attempts at trying to fit into the status quo get me?
Actually, come to think of it, I was brought somewhere. I was brought to mornings where I would wake up to see dried up vomit on my shirt from a evening of hard partying, I was brought to a place of ridicule from peers who thought I was phoney for changing my voice to sound more like them and was teased incessantly for it, I was robbing Paul to pay Pete when I noticed my bank account was in the negative after a weekend of high-end shopping. I found myself moving back home to live with my Mom after I lost my job and couldn't afford to live in downtown Manhattan. I found myself buying cheap synthetic weaves that would fall out days after putting it in simply because it was a popular brand and that's what I thought everyone would like.
It took me to a place of guilt and unhappiness.
Until I had an a-ha moment.
During my seasons of solitude (which is what it took for me to get here) I realized that being my quirky, off-beat, weird, and dorky self is who God created me to be. I was built like this for a reason. Why should I change who I am to please others? Why should I pretend to be "cool" because some popular rapper or singer says so? You cannot be like everyone else, nor should you ever be. Your idiosyncratic personality was constructed purposefully for you by a Higher Power. There is no one on this planet who has the same exact personality as you. Think of it as a fingerprint. No two fingerprints are alike. The same goes for personality. Therefore, why should you try to mold the way you think, act, and feel to mirror someone else?
I can speak on this topic because I have been there and done that. I'm not the cool kid at the party and never will be. I'm not the girl who knows every Beyonce song nor understands the latest slang. I find that I have to Google most of the slang terms I see on Twitter, because I'm just not that trendy. I don't know what's in from a fashion standpoint and I'm sure if the fashion police ever found me walking on the street, I would surely get arrested!
But guess what? I'm okay with that. I'm okay with being the nerd at the cool kids' party and I'm okay with not knowing who Kendrick Lamar is or any other new rapper out on the scene right now. I'm okay with being a dweebette who listens to 80s music and prefers watching shows on CNN rather than reality television. I'm okay with me being just me. If you don't like me, that's okay---you're not obligated to. This world is not designed for us to loved and revered by everyone. It's a part of the human condition. Therefore, accept yourself for who you are and love you no matter what.
You don't have to conform to be cool. Being you is just as cool...and in several social circles, even cooler.