I recently abandoned an old friend. A standby. One that’s been there for me for, multiple years now. One that often traveled with me and made me quite happy, adjusting to my moods and appealing to my sensibilities time and time again.
I admit it. I traded it in for a shinier model. One that would let me get a bit more personal. One that would give me what I needed… faster and more reliably.
So for years, seriously YEARS, I’ve been listening to Pandora while I work, drive, exercise, etc. Thumbs-upping songs at random, “training” stations to play the types of music I love, and curating stations for pretty much all moods I could possibly have (which, if you know me at all, is A LOT).
Recently, while getting to know a new fellow, we started talking about music.
For someone who listens to music for literally 8-14 hours per day, every day, I could name surprisingly few of the artists that I actually liked.
Yes, I could tell him the people I’ve seen in concert (mostly country… but I barely listen to country at all in my free time… so, uh, not correct?)… I could name a few of the pop songs I liked. And one or two bands that I thought were up-and-coming (looking at you, The Lone Bellow).
In my head I’m going, “What the heck? Why can’t I talk about this?”
The problem was that thumbs-upping the songs I liked on Pandora didn’t actually require me to actually look up who was singing or to learn the names of songs. Yeah. I know. I’m a terrible music fan. Shoot me. It never really bothered me until I realized that I couldn’t even own my taste in music effectively.
So I jumped on the Spotify train, referencing my “Favorites” from Pandora to get a few playlists started…
And I realized that my taste in music is totally different than what I’d probably tell someone if we were meeting over coffee or drinks.
One afternoon, I was trading texts with this new fellow (who happened to be seriously into music), talking about which bands we liked and our favorite songs. I mentioned The Script. I like their upbeat sound. Their music is great mid-afternoon, cruisin’ through spreadsheets, lovin’ life music.
His response was well, erm, less than enthused. I believe he said something along the lines of “they use way too many major chords like every other pop-sounding band.” He may have also called them “bland.”
My first response to his (honestly, kind of douche-y) text?
Because GUESS WHAT, GUYS? I didn’t give ANY SHITS about whether or not he’d like the band I liked. I honestly could care less.
Agreeing is easy. People-pleasing is comfortable. Forming and sharing a diverging opinion is NOT.
Too often, we forget that it’s okay to disagree.
He quickly responded with, “Wow, sorry that made me sound like a total jerk.”
To which I said,
“Dude, it’s cool. Like what you like.”
LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE.
It’s refreshing. It’s interesting. And frankly, sometimes it’s way too unexpected.
It’s simply too easy to agree. Too easy to be super mainstream with our thoughts and opinions. Too easy to be content with blending in. With going through the motions. With doing exactly what’s expected of us.
Thanks to the Internet, there’s an unbelievable amount of culture available right at our fingertips… but in our race to consume it, so few of us want to take the time to really think about and form opinions on the stuff we’re looking at/listening to. So few want to formulate and share diverging thoughts… and often the people that do so get painted as a “hipster” or “liberal.” This is a whole other blog post that could be written, but I’ll spare you… for now.
For the most part, we’re too busy re-sharing the same overdone memes on social media (seriously, that Justin Timberlake It’s Gonna Be May meme drove me bonkers) to really think about the stuff we’re sharing and caring about.
I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head: “Like what you like.” It’s become a bit of a mantra to help me embrace the things that make me, ME.
Being that I wholeheartedly believe in seeking out new experiences, adventures and ideas, I added a phrase to it:
TRY EVERYTHING…BUT LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE.
Get to know yourself a little better. Take a stance on something. Take a step back from pop culture and ask yourself, “do I actually like that?” or “what makes this something I like?” I’ve been asking myself these questions and realizing that, whoa, I’m not as basic as I thought…And while I might feel “weird,” I feel so much more authentically (is that even a word?) ME.
Because man, weird beats boring every damn day.
When’s the last time you questioned what you actually like and owned it?
P.S. You can follow me on Spotify if you’re interested.
P.P.S. Bloggers: Cassie wrote on some of these ideas as they apply to blogging and well, she killed it.