So I've been conflicted. On one hand I thought it time to read those books that people have always said are essential to the "Twenty-something" population (see: The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway; The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera; The Catcher in The Rye, Salinger... etc.). All that intellectual/coming of age stuff that I've always liked, but apparently I was too young to really appreciate the full meaning of. So I decided to read The Bell Jar, because I've always had this feeling that I would love Sylvia Plath, but I never really knew when or where to start. She's best known for being a wonderful and tragic poet, but she wrote a novel which is based off of her life and I loved it. I can see how still-teen-me wouldn't have felt the same way I felt when reading it this month.
On the other hand, I've been tapping into my inner pre-teen and feeling a kind of Benjamin Button thing going on in my head. I'm a huge fan of One Direction. It's something I've learnt to love and express now I've turned 20. Just a month ago the fact that I liked this boy band whose fan base is made up in its majority of 13-year-old girls, made me pretty embarrassed and this didn't allow me to really ENJOY the beauty and phenomena of One Direction. Now I am basically an adult (and this may sound ironic considering the topic of discussion at hand, but I digress), I feel in full control of this love of mine and I've been expressing it everywhere I go: "If you don't cry with 'Story of My Life' there's something wrong with you" or "But 'I Would' is SO GOOD. Like lyrically great. They don't say "Love", THEY SPELL IT OUT" are some examples. I'm also having a Taylor Swift moment, but that's ever-present and comes and goes, so that's not a surprise (I am, however, obsessed with a song which you should probably listen and dance to, 'Holy Ground').
Maybe I'm just being my nostalgic self with this back and forth, but I think it's gotten a bit beyond that, and I've just become the perfect balance of "innocence" and "maturity" (those two words are so encompassing they have to be in quote marks because they aren't fully defining), and I'm enjoying both sides extremely. Who says I can't read Walt Whitman and then listen and sing along to the full Red album by Taylor Swift? Why are these things not supposed to correlate? I can't try to grow up cultivated AND have diverse music tastes?
It makes me angry when people criticise my love for things like One Direction, because, as far as I know, you don't really chose the things you like. That would be EXTREMELY useful, as I have a couple of classes I'd like to not fall asleep in. But, alas, that is not a thing that happens. And it's unfortunate, but you should acknowledge it and move on, and when someone tells you they had a really great time the other night dancing around to a Justin Bieber song, despite your own feelings for that boy, the person who's telling you the story had a really great time, so be happy for them.
In my case, I usually gain people's respect in social situations which feature "nerdy" or "cultivated" or "rly so superr intellectual" boys, when the topic of either Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, comes up, because I'm a huge fan of both and these boys will appreciate a common, slightly eccentric passion like that (not that SW or LOTR is exceptionally weird at all, in fact I'm usually dumbstruck in these situations because SO MANY people like them that it shouldn't be an eccentricity in any case, but oh well.) It's great that I can always resort to these two topics to blend in and well in awkward moments. But, these people who are so "accepting" of you because you really enjoy Annie Hall, will be the worst when you express, politely, even, your problems with the film (500) Days of Summer. Don't even get me started if you include in your music favorites Led Zeppelin and Taylor Swift together. "Goodbye", they'll shout, mock-offended, "You are basically embarrassing yourself comparing the importance of Zeppelin with that little girl singing about her ex-boyfriends." The thing is, I'm done with being embarrassed. What is that word, even? It sound like pregnant in Spanish. I am not ashamed of having diverse hobbies and interests.
I had to bring this topic up because I've been thrown this idea in my face for too long. Liking or respecting someone solely on their musical/literary/cinematic interests seems so banal. I don't want to be an archetype of a Lord of the Rings fan. Because no one is. That's why it's called an archetype. It's an assumption and an exaggeration and I don't like it. If you're a die hard fan, great, if you kind of like it, great, if you don't care for it, GREAT. Hooray for being genuine. I don't want to be reduced to a concept, and it's become more and more clear after turning 20. I do want to dip my toes in the sea of "What Every Twenty-Something Should Do", because it's probably really enriching and interesting and a good chance to learn things. But if I want to simultaneously listen to "Don't Forget Where You Belong" by One Direction and love it, I'll do it. Fitting the mold is quite out of the question now I realize I'm twenty years old and don't truly fit in anywhere. Luckily you don't have to. If they tell you otherwise they are lying and are probably ashamed of some of their interests, too (they're probably die-hard Swifties and you won't know until you rock out to Red in front of them... just a thought.)
Hope you have a great day and wow, if you read this, imagine me blowing kisses to you because that's how I feel about you.