I sit here at my computer looking every bit the part of twenty-something “hipster” and I really have to laugh at myself. The stage was not set, but I went about my evening and here I am- in a comfy slouchy chair with a stack of books to my left, a stack of records to my right with Bon Iver softly churning from my record player and the incense stick burning practically screaming pretension. The only thing that doesn’t fit in the picturesque scene of modern almost-adulthood is the fact that a second ago, I was coloring a pair of bright red headphones with black and brown Sharpie’s – headphones I got for five dollars at Target (They didn’t have the color I wanted, which is to be expected when choosing from the front-of-store $1 section.) But, I digress.
No, I don’t cycle everywhere I go, nor do I wear fancy headphones and Apple products while complaining about not getting enough inheritance money. However, it is curious that even thinking about it makes me feel ashamed. Even my real hipster friends call themselves “indie” because they can’t stand to be associated with the h-word. If I got nothing out of my four years in college, at least I came into my own, and decided what I liked and didn’t like on my terms, even if there is a mocked term attached to it.
It seems that we as a society care way too much about labels. Along with labels comes judgment about not living up to those labels. It’s a vicious circle and this hypocrisy seems to make us as humans question and condemn as many things as possible. And while we may feel self important in the process, that smug satisfaction isn’t really getting us anywhere.
A goal I have set for myself this year is to work on not being judgmental. No one likes to be judged and honestly it doesn’t matter what you do, you really can’t win. I sometimes catch myself judging people, especially living in my hometown where I have never felt like I fit in. I need to slap myself and be reminded that though people or places may be different than my personal way of living, it doesn’t make either of us wrong or right. Everything is a grey area, nothing is black and white, and judgement, which often stems from ignorance, can just as quickly turn into hate.
So let’s all decide to judge a little less, and to love a little more. Let us spend more time building people up rather than tearing them down. Let’s remind those out there who spend so much energy on hate and discrimination that they could just as easily go about their business and live a happy life without ruining anyone else’s. Life is too short to think so negatively all the time. I, for one, am deciding to choose happy, even if it means being scoffed at when I blast Taylor Swift in my car or blab about my rather awesome record collection like the annoying little hipster I appear to be.