OK, so I don’t hate all that many things. I live in privileged times, in a free country (ostensibly, anyway) with all the comforts of modern life at my fingertips. The day job works for me, I love my kids, and we’ve thus far seen no signs of the alien invasion that I’m semi-sure is coming.
But. But. I do hate some things.
That in and of itself is not so unique, of course. The problem is I hate things that everyone else seems to freakin’ love, and I keep waiting to love them, too. These additions to my already overwhelming “shoulds” list are unwelcome in the extreme, and yet somehow I just can’t seem to get rid of them.
No, I Will Not Imagine Calm, Blue Waves
I first started thinking about this a few years ago, sitting on my couch, desperately clutching my iPhone, squeezing my eyes shut and waiting for the alarm to go off.
Like many other would-be yogis, I figured I could extend the benefits of a nice half-moon pose to my mental and emotional health by adding some meditation to my practice. My mind would become as uncluttered as a well-tended law library! I would regain control over my emotions! Sleep better at night! Watch as the fears slithered away into their dark corners and never returned!
… Sort of. Or I could just drive myself nuts as day after day, I crossed meditation off my to-do list without even attempting it. Or, on my braver afternoons, gritted my teeth and sat in the chair for 10 minutes (then 5, then 3) just trying to make things work. It felt like a relationship I couldn’t remember committing to. But I kept trying, telling anyone who would listen how well it worked.
I Do Not Like Johnny Depp. Sorry
Growing up, my household was pretty hippied out. My mom made us eat carob instead of chocolate, bought all our clothes at Hannah Anderson and never let us watch television. By the time I was 12 years old, I’d graduated to a half hour of Wishbone every afternoon. Suffice it to say I was never that media-savvy, and even after I graduated high school and was able to make my own choices, I still stuck to a few known quantities: Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, any Pixar movie.
Oh, I wanted to be cool. I tried to keep up on the hottest actors and their Hollywood doings, and for some reason, I still try. As though knowing what Orlando Bloom ate for lunch will somehow help me make friends and influence people. But it’s slowly becoming clear to me that not only will I never manage to know as much as people who really care, I will hate every second of trying.
Givin’ It Up, Boss
It has taken me an astonishingly long time to realize I’m not going to one day love People Magazine, just like I’m not going to love sitting in a chair and expanding my consciousness.
A few other things I’m never going to love? Bubble tea. Grumpy Cat. Anything from American Apparel, which as far as I can tell was created solely to clothe colorblind fools who enjoy pissing their money away.
Maybe you love these things. Maybe you live for them. Clearly they must please a lot of people, or I wouldn’t feel so much dang pressure to like them, too. But it’s time to face facts: I’m never going to, and pretending that I do just puts pressure on me that I hate dealing with day after day.
So I quit. I refuse to dislike myself because I can’t love what I hate. (Tweet!)
From now on, I’m giving myself permission to hate openly. But only, like, TV shows and stuff. I’m not a bigot. Jeez.
What things do you feel pressured to love that you secretly couldn’t care less about? Share yours in the comments and let’s see what oddballs we all are!
Sarah Beth Moore is a freelance writer and web designer living in the Pacific Northwest. She has a master’s degree in education as well as journalism, and blogs at http://positivelydreaming.com/. In her free time, she enjoys chasing her dogs and kids around, burning things in the kitchen and reading old-school science fiction and fantasy.
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