#2. The Things You Change To Be "Different" Usually Don't Matter Anyway
It's a rare person who actually changes anything significant about their personality straight out of anticonformity, or spite. Nobody, in an effort to avoid joining the crowd, changes their work ethic or religious beliefs -- not for more than a couple of weeks anyway. That kind of change is hard.
So if you're just trying to be different because you want to be different, you usually change your hair color or your clothes or the music you listen to. Maybe you change your hobbies from tennis to writing depressing poetry. Maybe you throw out your Barbies and start collecting newspaper articles on serial killers. Maybe you make everyone stop calling you Gordon and start calling you Ryuzaki.
Or you paint anime eyes on your eyelids.
None of that really changes much about who you are. If anything, it might give you a false sense of accomplishment that you've distanced yourself from your embarrassing past or your sordid family history or whatever you're trying to get away from.
Really changing your life takes a lot more work than that and sure isn't going to happen with a knee-jerk reaction against some cosmetic things that symbolize your past or background. You'd have to really look at your deep-seated bad habits (or even addictions, if you have them) or maybe change your career, or go into counseling to fix a relationship, or maybe even change your diet. These things aren't fun and don't give you the little rush of, say, getting a new hat nobody else has. But they'll actually make a difference.
#1. You're Denying Who You Are
Jeffy here on the right really loves his TMZ. He is really confused because he's changed his clothes, his hair, started listening to the "right" music, and eschewed the consumerism of corporate America. Yet he still finds himself sneaking off to Perez Hilton's website when nobody else is looking.
Now, granted, Jeffy has very poor taste. But that's who he is, and all his attempts to be "different" to try to find a distinct identity and separate himself from the mainstream have just put him in another little box of rules that still keep him from doing what he likes.
The point is that whether you're trying mainly to be like other people or trying mainly to not be like other people, either way you'll be too busy to learn how to try to be yourself.
No matter how different we are, we're all going to die one day.
When that day comes, and you're halfway down the digestive system of a bear, do you want to remember having lived your life based on what you wanted and what you thought was right, or do you want to remember a life based on either what other people told you to do, or not do? You'll be in unimaginable agony either way, but still, I like to think it matters.
For more from Christina, see 5 Reasons Women are as Shallow as Men (According to Science) and What Movies Would be Like if the Characters Didn't Make Horrible Decisions.
And stop by Linkstorm because everybody is doing it.
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