There aren’t a lot of people who will willingly talk about the things they want to change about themselves. We’ve been taught to always be ourselves and not beat ourselves up over what other people think, but I believe it’s healthy to look at the weird (and sometimes unpopular) parts of your personality in order to come to terms with what makes you different.
Somehow, I’m not wired with the ability to “agree to disagree” with my friends. I’m lucky that they love me even though I’m opinionated, but I get laughs and “oh-no-here-we-go”s in response to my attitude on things typical Johnson County white girls are supposed to like.
For those that are screaming “hipster!” in their heads right now: simmer down. I have been known to drink Starbucks coffee every once in a while and yes, I do own a pair of Uggs that I wore religiously in middle school, so take it easy on the “indie” labels please.
If anything, I’ve adopted the label “the guilty cynic”; a lot of what my friends like just doesn’t do it for me: romance movies, girly topics of conversation and Christmas music, to name a few. I wish I could change the critical lens with which I look at these things with. This desire to change is less about wanting to fit in and more about me wanting to enjoy these popular things like other people.
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First off, I wish I could watch all 108 minutes of a Nicholas Sparks movie. I’d much rather enjoy half a dozen episodes of the serial killer drama “Dexter” on Netflix. I know my decision to watch this instead of “Dear John” will require more brain function than staring at Channing Tatum. Even though Sparks’ or other chick flick films are unrealistic, I want to be able to believe them. Maybe my skepticism with cinematic love has something to do with the fact that my parents have been separated since I was born.
I’ve become so cynical regarding relationships on the silver screen that I’m usually able to predict the seemingly happy ending before it even begins. Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy and girl live happily ever after.
I can get behind a rom-com with a strong female lead I can relate to like Kat from “10 Things I Hate About You” or Summer from “500 Days of Summer.” The challenge is getting my friends to choose these films that are a little more catered to my quirky personality.
I’m learning to compromise. If the plot of a love story has drama and depth besides some guy writing some girl every day for a year — oh wait, that could be multiple Sparks movies — I can sacrifice tuning in for one girl’s night. Sit me in front of “Silver Linings Playbook” and I promise to be attentive. See? I’m slowly changing my tune.
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I get a hard time from people for being a “guy’s girl,” to which I have to explain that my friendships with guys are simply that: friendships. It’s just that I would much rather talk about Nebraska Husker football than my favorite nail polish. Heck, I can’t even remember the last time I had polish on my fingernails.
Guys are more apt to share my love of the outdoors, obscure bands and KU basketball. My unique tastes aren’t seen as pretentious, but rather relatable to them. My crude and sarcastic humor tends to go over better with a male audience.
I know I’m generalizing and being somewhat hypocritical, but I’ve realized most of my conversations with girls can be fairly people-centered and materialistic. I’m realizing that guys are deeper than their stereotype of being less emotional than girls suggests. Girls tend to constantly compare themselves to one another, but I feel like I can be my authentic self with my guy friends and not have to worry about those things.
Relating to the opposite gender more than my own isn’t necessarily a reason why I suck, but my frustration with my tomboyish nature lies in the fact that I love my girlfriends and wish I could relate to them more.
My decision to join a sorority next fall frankly scares me. I’m not going to necessarily change who I am for the approval of others’, but I think there’s a way to find a happy medium. I’d love to become a new variety of sorority girl: one who doesn’t wear monograms, but is totally down with wearing the Norts and oversized shirts sorority girls typically wear — only if I can wear my Chacos with them. I’m sure I can find a group of girls that also listens to music no one has ever heard of and who enjoy frequenting small coffee shops as much as I do. I can’t share Greek letters with my guy friends, but I’m optimistic I can find a crowd that will cheer as loud as I will for the Huskers and actually know what a fumble is.
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I truly wish I was the type of person who could listen to Christmas music in October and eagerly count down the days to Dec. 25. I like holidays like Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July moreso. Because gifts aren’t exchanged on these holidays, in my observation, they tend to focus less on materialism and more on spending time with family. My best friend, who adores everything Christmas, will be the first to tell you I suck because of this. Sorry, I’m just not a huge fan of songs that repeat choruses about reindeers and bells and snow.
I wish I could change this about myself. Christmas is generally considered the most popular season of the year and I feel like I miss out on that joy when I choose not to embrace the Christmas culture. I work in a small candy store where constantly fudge cutting, ribbon tying and dealing with customers can really take a toll on one’s Christmas spirit, especially when all of this is done with “Jingle Bells” on repeat. I know, I’m a Grinch. Bah humbug.
I know I can’t escape Christmas tunes in the winter months. This year my feelings towards Christmas music are transitioning from hatred to tolerance. The Choraliers started rehearsing for the Holiday Concert back in October, and I survived. I’m learning to love things like caroling with my family because it’s a fun tradition, not because I actually enjoy “Frosty the Snowman.”
Don’t misunderstand me; I love other aspects of Christmas. My mom and I decorate our Christmas tree, not to the song “Deck the Halls,” but by traditionally watching “Wizard of Oz” while we hang ornaments. One of my favorite things of the season is enjoying peppermint-flavored hot cocoa by our fireplace. This year I’m even attempting to do these things to the sounds of my newly created Christmas music Pandora radio.
If I continue to embrace more Christmas music like this you may even hear me humming along to “Santa Baby” this time next year.
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After addressing the reasons why I suck, or put more lightly, the differences in my personality from the status quo, I’m challenging myself to let go of some of my dislikes. I know these are small changes, but if they lead me to be a little less cynical I might ultimately understand the joy people get when talking about romance movies, sorority sisters and Christmas music.