This girl from down the hall was eating popcorn off of my yoga mat. MY yoga mat. All of my treasured moments of mindfulness colliding with the salty, buttery smell of overcooked popcorn. My fellow floor mates have adapted to my strange habits of downing Naked juices and stretching myself out in various positions as they were called out to me from my latest subscription on YouTube. So I thought to myself—why am I doing all of this? Why am I the green tea drinking, obscure band loving, and now mostly vegetarian person?
There would be days where I would stand in one of the vast fiction aisles of Barnes & Noble peering into the souls of paperback books. I would read and reread the eloquent preview on the back of the books until the point of memorization. All in hopes of enticing myself to like a book that I didn’t even like. Because I knew that this was a book that I, as some indie, rewards member of Starbucks, was supposed to like.
I’m sure that if I stood behind the counter as a barista and told you that lately I’ve been rewatching the first season of Portlandia, a certain crowd would flock. They would enjoy my vegetarian and vegan recipes. Bolt their eyes open when I told them that I had finally ordered a vinyl record of Beirut’s album, The Riptide. We would talk about The Perks of Being a Wallflower—the book. John Green, pitchfork, and the list of things that so vaguely flush your mind when I strut my tight, canvas shoes down the wooden floors of this cafe.
But I am more than my Toms.
It took me so long to give up on the idea that I needed to be those things. That despite how much some of these things enchanted me, other parts of this subculture still revolted me.
I think a lot of us in our twenties are subjected to some form of subconscious, organizational system of culture and expectations. We focus so often on either stereotyping (or intentionally not stereotyping) other people, that we forget that we’re slowly subjecting ourselves to the same process. While the vast majority of us sit on the bookstore floor trekking through bound pages into our ever so diminishing twenties, we need to remember that as humans we are a collective. That we are wholesome, partial, and have every right to tear the pages from any well established publication company’s product.