Reader Quit: Expecting To One Day Love the Things I Hate (by Sarah Beth Moore)

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 MooreSarah 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.

 

 

Image: Flickr

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  • Debbie M

    Hmm, I was able to think of many right away.

    Alcohol! – Supposedly fun but actually yucky.

    Vegetables – Actually healthy but also yucky. I think I should still try to find ways to like these, though!

    Way too much air conditioning in the summer – I like it for 5 – 20 minutes after I first come in; but it’s destroying the earth and I can never just get used to the heat like when I worked in an overnight summer camp.

    Short hair – It dries fast and doesn’t clog the vacuum cleaner, etc. But you have to cut it more often and I like long hair.

    Braces – My teeth work fine; some of them just stick out funny.

    Monty Python – I do like British humor; I just don’t find this memorable for some unknown reason. “The Princess Bride,” too. Also, somehow I’ve managed never to see much “Dr. Who,” let alone have an opinion about which doctor is my favorite.

    Programming jobs – I have the right brain, but not the right tolerance for frustration and most of those jobs are so boring.

    Church – I like weekly reminders to do the right thing and be a good person, I like the idea of a community of people who help each other (like church ladies making the refreshments for after a funeral), I love many parts of some religions (Resting one day a week! Remembering every year that slavery is bad! Confessing sins so you can move on! You’re not really dead after you die!) but as a whole, no.

    Having kids – There are enough other people doing that very scary hard job.

    Getting a better job so I can have more money for stuff – ugh, I prefer working reasonable hours–or no hours at all. I’m retiring soon.

    Having multiple income streams/starting my own businesses – no, that’s stressful. I’ll settle for a pension, an IRA, a paid-off house, and frugality skills.

    Moving to a suburb – ugh–commuting takes long enough as it is.

    Riding bikes everywhere and giving up the car – I might still try getting better at bike riding, but I still want a car for going across town and visiting my suburban friends (as well as taking road trips–which I could rent a car for if I didn’t own one).

    Moving to [places friends have moved to] – Those places are colder and/or more expensive. I try to visit.

    I also don’t like meditation, but I feel very little pressure to try it. And for the other things I’ve listed, I have no problem not trying to like them (except for eating vegetables and riding a bike–and I don’t mind trying to like those).

    • When I wrote this, I didn’t even have half as long a list! But yes, I agree with at least half of the items on it. Love that you’re so clear on what you want to avoid … wish I could have gotten there sooner! 🙂

      (P.S. I think everyone secretly feels that way about veggies. Or not so secretly)

  • Devin

    I feel you on the meditation. It seems like such a prevalent “feel-good” method in our society that I feel bad admitting I have no interest in it whatsoever. But you’re right: there’s no point pretending!

    • Admitting is the way to go! The first step, if you will …

  • Emily

    I completely agree with Debbie about air conditioning! As a former Arizonan, too-cold AC is rampant there. It doesn’t need to be 55 degrees inside, ever! Especially if it’s 85 outside. 85 is great. Don’t tamper with it.

    Meditation and yoga are both I-know-I-should and I’m-glad-I-did-it pastimes, but hard enough to motivate myself to do that I’m pretty sure I should just stop feeling guilty about not doing it.

    Casablanca. The film, not the place. This may be because I watched it first as a teenager, but… It’s kind of boring. A lot of classic literature and film falls into this category for me, actually. I know it’s supposed to be great, if not The Greatest (that’s why it’s classic, right?) but… meh.

    Other people’s pets and children. I adore mine, and my nephews are pretty great and I love animals and kids in general, I think, but I keep encountering individual specimens that inspire uncharitable thoughts…

    • Haha I especially love your last thought. It’s true that everyone expects us to fawn all over pets and kids, but most are unruly and, let’s face it, we don’t love them. We can like them, sure, but the culture of the kid-as-god is a little over the top for me as well. You, and only you (well, and maybe your parents and spouse), are the only who bound to think your child is a gift. To everyone else … it’s just a kid. I love it! Owning what we don’t love is so freeing!

  • Tweeted! Savvy-delicious.