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Desperately Seeking a Shepherd

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. – Haruki Murakami

Maybe Murakami’s quote applies to everything. Perhaps I’ll out myself as a hopeless snob. If I lose a few readers or start a debate, GREAT. I’m typing what I have to say, because I can’t sit on it any longer.

I am sick of the simpering sameness that permeates all creative forms today. From the same few music acts whose auto-tuned voices are beamed at me everywhere I turn/click/read to our dismal summer movie offerings to ‘must read’ book lists that are all composed of the same PR’d-to-death tomes, I am an isolated, dejected weirdo who must not like anything popular or socially accepted.

What bothers me about this isn’t that social media seems to have turned our entire society into a herd of sheep, or that I feel like I have been sent on an endless trip back to high school where nobody ever graduates, grows up or evolves. No. I can deal with those things.

It bothers me to see myself becoming what I despise.

“I’m not going to see that exhibit, because I won’t like it. I mean, come ON.”

“This book? It just looks like something that’ll be a waste of time. Don’t ask me how. I just know.”

“That guy wants to be my Facebook friend? Didn’t he crank call me in 11th grade, say he had 10 inches he wanted to slide in and hang up? What a loser.”

“Well, if everybody’s seeing the latest comic-book-come-to-life movie, I guess I should watch it on my flight instead of this art film.”

Pride. Pride. Pride.

I’ve always been proud of how willing I am to experience things, even when I don’t always know how to categorize them. Especially when I think I may not like them. I am dismayed to see pieces of myself being absorbed by the ravenous cancer that is SAME. Bits of my brain are dissolving into the ocean of popularity. Every wave drowns my own ability to create. My Creative Tank is clogged with stale plot lines set to recycled tunes.

This week, my series will be about what I’ve done to challenge my own thinking, a desperate grab to fill my Creative Tank.

What do you do when you catch yourself becoming one of the crowd, Dear Reader?

78 Comments Post a comment
  1. rod #

    When I was young it was actively brought home to me that I was not one of the crowd. Being young, I didn’t like this too much but soon adapted to it since there was no other choice. But that is not really the sort of crowd you are talking about here. The fact that a lot of people like something, or buy into something, gives no indication of value. We have to work that out for ourselves case by case – though in any given instance we don’t have to if we don’t want to. Is Ms Spears a good singer? Although it might not take much time to figure that out, why waste that time at all?

    July 14, 2014
    • Because I have been remiss in responding to comments, here I sit. Responding.

      Unfortunately, our society assigns value based upon the Homecoming Queen metric. Does that mean something is really of value? No. Not to me. But to most of society, it equals value. I agree with you, Rod. Value is individual. May it ever be so.

      July 14, 2014
  2. Before I forget... #

    Oh I agree with you. How not to become mediocre, I myself feel that slide coming on. Personally, I have never succumbed to running with the crowd which has obviously isolated me to others like myself who buck the norm. I wish I could write as I live, have lived, or think instead of trying to find a style that people want to read.

    I think sometimes we get caught up in what we feel we aught to be doing/writing, in case we forget it that we miss the important ideas that makes us great! I am so glad I have never needed to fit in, or blend in even if it marked me out as weird.

    July 14, 2014
    • You’re not weird. I don’t think anyone here is weird. 🙂

      Stick to what makes a difference to you. To what you want to read.

      July 14, 2014
  3. Your laments are the main reason I can’t do book clubs. (Or really any club for that matter). I have a tendency to like books outside the popular realm and often don’t like books that are inside that realm. Making me seem cantankerous and curmudgeonly. In answer to your second question about refilling the tank, lately for me it’s been about revisiting a lot of my past. Luckily I’ve just been able to spend a good chunk of time in my childhood home among my teenage/young adult journals. Photographs, drinks with old friends. Seems to be doing the trick. For now, anyway. Good luck. I hope the price of creativity tank refilling is lower than the price of gasoline ;-).

    July 14, 2014
    • Please let me know when I can come to NY and have wine and cheese doodles with you. Of course, I’d come to Denmark like a shot, but your visits home are more accomplishable right now. I think that would be AWESOME.

      July 14, 2014
  4. I’ll steer clear of the mainstream(& float free in the cool eddies) I saw Springsteen & Elton,Rod stewart & many others on their very early tours but when i noticed they were going global I turned away, same for films, television. books. I skipped the proms, and refused to get married
    but, as Ray Davies sang:

    I’ve gotta stop faking it
    I’ve gotta start facing it
    I’m gonna take my final bow
    Then I’m gonna take my place in the crowd
    I know I’ll get used to it
    I’ve gotta stop acting like a clown

    I’ve gotta start facing up to what I really am
    I’ve got to realize l’m just an ordinary man
    I think that I’ll just settle down
    And take my place in the crowd
    I don’t want to lie to myself any more

    Am I just a face in the crowd? Is that all I’ll ever be?
    I don’t want to be anything that isn’t really me
    Mister, can you tell me who I am?
    Do you think I stand out?
    Or am I just a face in the crowd?

    Mister, can you tell me who I am?
    Do you think I stand out?
    Or am I just a face in the crowd?

    Kinks – (A) Face In The Crowd Lyrics

    July 14, 2014
    • It’s got to be hard for any artist to maintain a sense of the original once they find fame. I get that.

      July 14, 2014
  5. i have lived way off the grid for over a dozen years, so i chuckle when someone mentions a popular actor or musician or television show or even new children’s toys! it’s always refreshing to hear new good music, or to be handed a book while being told, ‘you’re going to love this,’ or ‘this could have been written about you…’ when we step out of our culture, we sometimes have the gift of seeing it through foreign eyes, and i often understand why our country is often disliked.

    new fads rarely infected me with the wish to own the same trinkets or wear the same garb, but i think that some people need more time to figure out who they are and what direction they want to go… and they feel safer in the comfort of the familiar until they figure out their unique strengths…

    a strong dose of reverse culture shock blasts me when i am in the USA..there are things that i miss (specialty ethnic foods, libraries and book stores and music stores – gasp, do music stores still exist?!) the materialism bothers me a lot, and i note how many are distracted with text-messaging or dash home to see their favorite program on television – when they should be looking ahead/around and experiencing the world and its people.

    more people seem to be awakening and perhaps one day people will judge their peers by how unique they are instead of how well they conform to the latest trend! you’re not a follower, amiga, and it would be grand if more people set out on foot for personal and spiritual pilgrimages! THAT would be a trend that the world would admire! z

    July 14, 2014
    • Like you, I totally see why the US is judged as it is. Is it totally fair? Probably not. But we have a tendency as humans to break things down into the very basics so that we can categorize them. Without nuance. OR exception. I wish we could break that cycle.

      July 14, 2014
  6. i think it has to do with being, or becoming, comfortable in your own skin. as a child, most people long to fit in and be accepted, and the easiest way to do this is by making popular choices and going along with the majority. as we go through life, gain experience, and confidence hopefully, we become more comfortable with making our own choices and caring less about having everyone like us or think we are part of the ‘in’ crowd, though it’s the easy way out sometimes, and easy to slip back into the old patterns of following like sheep, and not having to think for ourselves. i’ve always been drawn to the unique in life, and as time goes by, i care less and less about what everyone thinks about my choices.

    July 14, 2014
    • Most people don’t seem to be like that, Beth. But there’s always hope. This has been a place where I’ve been able to find my people, folks who see the world as I do. It’s one of the supreme values of this platform.

      July 14, 2014
  7. It a round about way, that is what I worry about with all these people plugged into their iPods and such with headphones. If you constantly feed yourself with what you already have, what you already know, how do you come up with something new and creative? If you are a musician, don’t you need to hear the sounds of the world and be exposed to new and different music? If you are a writers, don’t you need to hear strange conversations, overhear odd comments, and be opened up to new and different ideas?

    I agree totally about books, music, and popular culture. And reality shows? Puleeeeeze…..

    July 14, 2014
    • I don’t use headphones, so I really can’t speak to that. I’m bad about being on my phone when I should be paying attention to the world around me, but no headphones.

      July 14, 2014
  8. The cry of my heart — maybe this is why we get along — cyber-wise, anyhow. What do I do? Why, I write something so intentionally anti-mainstream that it sheds a harsh light onto how ridiculously homogeneous everything is. And then six people read it and YAY mission accomplished (to be read with sarcasm dripping off your tongue. Seriously, go the jam aisle and pick up some of that Sarcasm brand marmalade, it’s delicious, darling).

    I have constantly said that I don’t feel comfortable in my own culture — and I strive to exceed its narrow view of music, art, film, storytelling of all sorts — and end up being called pretentious, and get told that I’d have more readership if I dropped the artifice and just wrote plain simple prose. If I just told the story instead of exploring the possibilities of the craft of writing.

    If I just stuck to the RULES.

    And telling me to stick to the rules is like waving a raw steak in front of a tiger and being surprised when it takes your arm as well.

    An apt metaphor, of course, because I have teeth and tend to use them. One of the delightful things about being Helena is that I can speak my mind freely — or at least that was the idea. At first, Helena was my freedom and I could say what I wanted through her voice — unfortunately, I got attached to her, and her reputation is still important to me. (I know, I’m venturing into meta-territory here). And so it was difficult when I, like you are saying, found myself becoming the very thing that I despised. I started trying to be one of the popular girls, only to discover when I got there that it was all very boring, very cliche, very SAME. I felt like I was sitting at a book club reading Fifty Shades of Grey and sipping cosmos and reminiscing about Sex and the City.

    BLECH!

    But what do you do when being contrary becomes the popular thing to do, and you get called Hipster and “isolated dejected weirdo”?

    I say embrace it, darling. There are enough of us weirdos out here to make up your audience. (Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself)

    The world doesn’t need any more Charlaine Harrises or James Pattersons or Candace Bushnells or George R.R. Martins or or or…..

    It needs new, brave voices who are willing to tell new interesting stories.

    Or, at least, I do. You’re no doubt aware that the great unwashed masses are always going to follow the path of least resistance and eat up whatever shit Hollywood (and pop culture as an extension) tells them to with a great big spoon and when they’re done say THANK YOU SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER? but if you can’t respect yourself for who you are — if you can’t acknowledge that you ARE who you ARE and you LIKE/DON’T LIKE what you LIKE/DON’T LIKE then you will be miserable.

    You’re not alone. I struggle with this so much — wanting to understand the world I live in but yet looking at my culture with such disdain and disinterest that I think that something must be wrong with me.

    Keep your head up and keep talking. I’m listening. And I’ll try to keep writing stories that make you smile, make you laugh, make you cringe, and make you shake your head with wonder. I will keep trying to fuck with the mainstream and be original, and if I can’t be completely original, why, at least I’ll make sure that I laugh at myself for being cliche.

    Thank you for writing this. I needed the reminder that I’m not crazy, and that I’m not alone.
    (and yikes! I wrote a novel)

    July 14, 2014
    • You’re not crazy. (Though you write some deelightful crazy stuff. I was talking about one of your stories tonight at dinner. 🙂 )

      July 14, 2014
  9. tarakianwarrior #

    You’re already ahead of the game Andra. You see it. You recognize it. You’re changing it. Good on you lady.

    July 14, 2014
    • I’m just determined to change my life enough to get to Boise. Early next year. For a night or two. When I’m determined, things usually happen. 🙂

      July 14, 2014
  10. Do we have to choose between one or the other?

    I think it’s okay that on any given plane ride, I might choose the low-brow comedy, one that I’d never dream of going to a theatre to see, because I just need to turn my brain off for a while. But I might also choose that beautiful foreign film that’s been on my list but I haven’t gotten around to watching yet. In fact, depending on the length of the flight, I might watch them both in one sitting.

    I can read a thought-provoking Christopher Hitchens piece in Vanity Fair (or at least I could until he passed last year…) and then thumb through an issue of Glamour and get sucked into the Do’s and Don’ts page as if my life depended on it.

    I’m not embarrassed by the fluff (well, not much at least) because I know that I have depth, too. A renaissance woman, of sorts. 😉

    July 14, 2014
    • I’m complaining because of how much fluff I’ve put into my days. More fluff than anything else lately. I am the world’s biggest reader of HuffPo Celebrity and People.com (before they crapped it up with ads), and my favorite magazine is NY Mag. I just don’t want that to be everything I do. When I see myself veering in the direction of that being IT, I’m always rattled.

      July 14, 2014
  11. Andra, I usually go out for a walk in the garden. Clears my head almost every time and gets the juices going .

    I fall prey to pulp fiction, block buster movies, glossy mags, but, also tune in to BookSense and PBS and make sure I take something home from the library that is different for me (books on zithers garner odd looks from libraries, but, hey, who cares?”.

    . . . and I read your blog. 🙂

    July 14, 2014
    • Ah, yes. My blog. I wish I could do a Penny and Andra Take Chicago series very soon. That would be AWESOME. (Of course, you and Tom can always come here. Maybe not right now, because it’s hell hot…….)

      July 14, 2014
  12. Me again. I hit post comment too soon.

    Reading your blog, I hope you know, is one of the best things I do and always stimulates, challenges, leads me too look into other topics and has me thinking outside of that old box of life.

    July 14, 2014
    • I really enjoy reading your stories also. Obviously. I had that Technicolor dream about you and Debra and your Yia Yia’s things on the houseboat that didn’t float but did………

      July 14, 2014
  13. I really needed this post, Andra. I so hear you! This is why I rarely read the touted bestsellers. I like to read new books and discover fresh new authors (many of whom go on to become touted bestsellers).
    I applaud your desire to be who you are, someone who isn’t content with status quo, someone who refuses to be a lemming running off a cliff like everyone else!
    I wondered whether anyone would read my book, which is very very different from what’s out there in YA land. But I have to write it how I see it.

    July 14, 2014
  14. I don’t think I EVER yearned to fit into the image of the “in” crowd, except possibly as a teen (that “popularity” thing). That said, it is comforting to be liked and appreciated, but not an all-consuming need. 🙂

    I read what I choose to read — sometimes it’s what everyone else is reading, but usually not. Much of what I have read over the years is simply because the synopsis on the cover appealed, or a book club review was intriguing, or a friend recommended (or wrote) it! 🙂 I’m aware that I’ve missed lots of books I “should” have read, including a good many of those that appear on such lists as “100 Books to Read Before You Die,” etc.

    A book I read many years ago really struck a chord with me and I’ve kept it on my shelf to re-read someday (title: Windbreak), but until recently I didn’t know the author was also a teacher and, I suspect, very much the individualist. See: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-M.-Hasselstrom/e/B001IXU0NU/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 A little secret? my bookshelves also harbor evidence that I once thought I might write. Over the years though my “creative juices” have generally channeled elsewhere — heading for my paint cans in just a little while!

    I agree with Lori. You will never be content to be a part of the mainstream, go-with-the-flow ’cause everybody’s doing it/reading it/listening to it crowd, because you have an insatiable desire to “know more” about everything, and then to share it, and we are all so grateful for that!

    July 14, 2014
  15. I’ve been lamenting for years that music, especially rock music, isn’t as it was when I was growing up…for exactly the reason you state: It’s been homoginized. Music, writing, even the blandness of a subdivision with houses all painted the same tones…we’re becoming blah and same old, same old in creativity. And when someone like yourself thinks outside the box or doesn’t use autotune, well ohmigosh and lordhavemercy, what the heck are you doing? Your creative tank is there, Andra, and I can’t wait to hear how you challenge yourself to keep from being same.

    July 14, 2014
    • ohmigosh and lordhavemercy, you have inspired me. I love those runs-together, Mary. 🙂 Thank you. I used to run words together all the time in my writing. I’ve got to do that more.

      July 14, 2014
  16. I love good writing, music, and other art because it is someone’s honest reflection of the “real” world. By “real” I mean water, rock, air, meat, fiber…the stuff we can sense with what we’ve been given as senses (clever name). I also mean the stuff we can’t readily touch, the quantum field or however you want to define it. All that stuff is not presented to us by a producer/marketer/advertiser/whoever who wants to extract currency from us. Our personal information is gold to these people. Enjoying the beauty and power of the internet does have a price. Settling for comfortable human contact in cyberspace, rather than inconvenient tactile friendship in dueling protoplasm-space, has become the new normal. In this cyber reality we generate our images to each other by what we write and how we respond. In a perfect world, everybody’s honest and presents a realistic intellectual and emotional avatar. On the plus side, I believe that we are learning to develop a new “sense,” where we read between the lines to learn if we’re being fooled or not. On the dark side, we’re being used by people we don’t even know about to generate income by both legal and illegal means. It’s that brave new world thing. To live in it, we have to ad lib. But we always have to prod ourselves to remember that the “real” world I opened this rant with is present and is the true source of the strength we have as human beings. So, always question everything. Andra, you are naturally compelled to do just that and you do it in this public forum. I guess that makes you a true community asset. 🙂

    July 14, 2014
  17. I’m with you…..:)

    July 14, 2014
    • I still haven’t made the aubergine recipe, Roger. Out celebrating Bastille Day tonight. I’ll let you know what transpires when we make it.

      July 14, 2014
  18. I see there are already a ton of long comments, but I’ll keep mine relatively short.

    I like McCradys. I like Taco Bell.
    I like Nine Inch Nails. I like Iggy Azalea.
    I like The Grand Budapest Hotel. I like Guardians of The Galaxy.
    I like The Sandman. I like Wolverine.
    I like David Carson. I like Shepard Fairey.
    I like Andra Watkins. I like Michael Carnell.

    I’ve never cared much for being ashamed of liking one thing or another. If I like it, I like it. That is one of the reasons I can associate with people from so many walks of life, I can find value in things from all over and enjoy them and thus can talk to anyone about anything. I just try to judge something on it’s own merits regardless of how I feel about other things and luckily am confident enough in myself to not be too concerned with what people think about what I like.

    July 14, 2014
    • I don’t know how this comment ended up in spam, but I have set it free. You are a great example to me of how to have balance and to try anything. It’s one of the things I admire most about you.

      July 16, 2014
  19. I once overheard a woman friend describing me to another. She said,” I know a lady who has read everything, dresses in her own style and doesn’t care whether anyone likes it or not, takes chances in life, teaches creatively, and I want to be her when I grow up.” It’s always interesting to hear what others think about you, and I was a trifle taken aback because I had not thought about myself as any of those things. I just know that my ideas were never quite mainstream. Yours aren’t either. From my experience at age 87, I want to tell you…..don’t change. Keep following your own path. The other one gets too crowded anyway.

    July 14, 2014
    • 🙂

      July 14, 2014
    • A similar awesome thing happened to me on the eve of my wedding. An elderly lady in our community actually said I was carrying on her tradition of uniqueness, and I hope I lived up to that. I think your path is awesome, and I hope I can emulate it.

      July 14, 2014
  20. Preach it, sister! I am willing to try the “popular” socially acceptable stuff, but if I don’t like it I put it aside or stay away from discussions about it. I think this is part of my problem as a writer. I want to write a good, interesting story that does not necessarily fit into the popular. Doomed to be on the outside of everything, I guess.

    July 14, 2014
  21. I hear what you’re saying here. One of the advantages of being a free spirit is that I rarely am aware of what the crowd is doing so I’m removed from the sameness before it even happens. Belong to yourself first. That’s my motto.

    July 14, 2014
  22. I applaud your introspection and struggle against sameness, Andra. It’s a tough thing to get past, especially when these things are foisted upon us with commercials and posters, reviews and word-of-mouth, much of which is difficult to avoid when living a day-to-day life out in public.

    It’s not a reactive habit for me, but I like to turn back the clock to help spark some ideas and creativity. I’ll find and read something old, something that most others aren’t reading. I like ancient philosophers because you can read just a chunk of it if you don’t have a lot of time and still take something away. I’ll watch an older movie (sometimes ones from when I was a kid – Summer School is still a fave go-to) or I’ll learn about how to do something that others don’t do on a massive scale; this is why and how I learned bookbinding and knitting. Not to mention, these obscure arts are bound to disappear someday if I don’t help keep them alive. 🙂

    July 14, 2014
    • I remember your ability with coptic binding, from when I posted that book on my Natchez Trace walk. I think spending time with ancient things is an awesome way to maintain perspective. I need to seek out more of those things. Thanks for the inspiration.

      July 14, 2014
  23. Never been one of the crowd, the sheeple. Took a lot of heat for it, didn’t care. I’m cantankerous, and old enough now to wear the weirdness with a satisfying degree of cool. Iconoclasts, keep doing your wild and wonderful things!

    July 14, 2014
  24. Andra, I think we have to be our own shepherds. I am never happier when reading a nice old book that no one reads anymore, at least no one I know.I do descend into wasting time on the internet, but most of us know when we’ve had too much of that sugary cereal. When I find myself not feeling challenged, I ask myself what is the most real thing I can do that day.

    July 14, 2014
    • We all waste time online. it’s the nature of the world. I love your personal question. I think I will adopt it as my own.

      July 14, 2014
  25. Ooh, what a question, Andra. Physically, I blend in and disappear. Mentally, I try to find an escape. Creatively, I open a black hole. I don’t like crowds.
    Considering how each and every one of us are unique individuals, I find it amazing just how many of us try to copy someone else. And I find it equally amazing at those who express their differences tend to be shunned.
    We’re a funny lot, us people.

    July 14, 2014
    • Copy someone else? GUILTY!! It’s so much easier sometimes, isn’t it? I hope to continue to find ways to evolve and avoid that.

      July 14, 2014
  26. I’ve simply never been in any danger of that. Unless it’s a crowd of weirdos 🙂 like re-enactors! The only crowd someone dressed as a Viking or a Victorian can blend into. I think I must have been staring out the window daydreaming when they explained why we are supposed to want to be the same as everyone else, so I simply don’t understand it.

    I don’t really have much in the way of advice. I’ve just never really been subject to peer pressure and I ignore advertising. I mute the TV adverts. If I want to buy something I research it. I read what I fancy from the library, the internet, our little local bookshop which sells new, self pub, local authors and 2nd hand stuff. Recently I have developed an obsession with Victorian magazines! Currently reading Girl’s Own Annual from 1916-17. I do watch TV, but I think the most mainstream show I like is Downton Abbey. I watch films, but wait until they reach TV and only read the review for a plot precis, I don’t find I always like a 5star film better than a 1star. I use the internet but not a mobile phone – I’m one of the few people left on the planet who have never sent a text message! I don’t tend to realise how odd I am until it is forcibly impressed upon me that actually most people are really quite different. About the most mainstream I get is liking antiques and knitting, and those are really quite minority. Even then, the last thing I knitted was a Victorian vest from a pattern 150 years old.

    If you want to be more creative, try learning a new craft, the more obscure the better. I learnt to make bobbin lace last year, it’s much easier than it looks.

    July 14, 2014
    • I think bobbin lace looks fascinating. I used to do all sorts of hand crafts in front of the tv……..when I had a tv. I miss that hand business sometimes. (I love the idea of the Victorian vest.)

      July 14, 2014
  27. I don’t have the time at the moment to comment on this so I will hold off but a similar problem I have noticed in myself is that as people become less and less polite and customer service has vanished, it is much easier for me to forget who I am and become a jerk; randomly insulting whoever irritates me, gets in my way, or in general is a hump..

    July 14, 2014
    • High five!! I fear I am a jerk entirely too often…………. Almost fell prey to it today.

      July 14, 2014
  28. Sometimes, being a jerk is almost appropriate. I actually feel I could readily be a jerk about now with your WordPress, provided I could get their collective ear. I seem to have been banished to the spam file yet again! Heaven knows what I may have done to deserve such treatment, but I don’t like it one bit WordPress!! Not. One. Bit!!

    July 14, 2014
    • This one seems to have gotten through. I do not get this with your comments.

      July 14, 2014
      • Andra – if you look in your spam comments, each one has a number. You can contact the helpdesk at askimet (you have to delve into their files to get the e-mail address. It’s painfully simple, which means I can’t remember it. But it’s like help at askimet dot com or something). Anyway, you e-mail them the comment number and say “this person is routinely spammed” and they can whitelist them.

        July 14, 2014
      • Well, I was “wordy,” so maybe I exceeded my quota! 🙂

        July 14, 2014
  29. Every single time I think I’m normal, something happens to show me that “oh shit, nope, not yet, still haven’t arrived”

    July 14, 2014
    • Oh, but you have! 🙂 Nothing commendable about being “normal.” Wish I had half the talent you and Andra have.

      July 14, 2014
  30. There is nothing I love more than to be my goofy self. It doesn’t matter what others think, I like being different. Having said that, I am guilty of wanting to fit in from time to time. But if everyone is doing something, I automatically want out. 🙂

    July 14, 2014
    • I just feel really lonely sometimes. It passes. Especially when I spend time here. 🙂

      July 15, 2014
  31. I wish we could talk about this at length, so I’m going to enjoy your posts as you share what you’re doing to stretch yourself. I think you need to go a little easier on yourself! I really do. You are a very sensitive and highly creative person who probably needs the “fluff” to let your mind rest a little. We need balance in our lives. If we only ate potato chips we’d have health problems, but an occasional potato chip on the side of a good sandwich isn’t gong to undo the benefit of all the fruit and vegetables we normally eat. The same for cultural exploration. Because you travel and explore and research and live a full life, you’re definitely not overdoing it on the pablum. I’m so rarely on the same page with my friends when it comes to what I read or my choice in movies. i’m accustomed to that. Very few of my friends even consider themselves readers. I just feel sorry that they don’t have the same joy in reading that I do. And I am very good friends with my Public Radio Station. It keeps me from despairing when I hear that hordes of people are keeping up with the Kardashians. I delight in knowing that others are listening to the same interesting and informative programming that I do! 🙂

    July 15, 2014
    • I have fluff every day. You’d laugh if you saw how many times I read the HuffPo Celebrity page, Debra. 🙂 I go there at least once a day. I refuse to click on any stories about the ridiculous K’s, however. That’s just too much fluff.

      July 15, 2014
      • We should all know our limits. Ha! The first post of yours I ever read had to do with the K’s. I read that and immediately knew you were someone I wanted to know! 🙂

        July 15, 2014
  32. Jen #

    I am clinically predisposed to self-loathing when I find myself becoming more of the same. That said, I also get annoyed with that side of me. Side A to Side B: Why do you always have to be so DIFFERENT? That said … to answer your question: I challenge myself. That’s it. I take on new media. Right now, poetry, for instance. I also willingly own up to my insecurity and inexperience.

    July 15, 2014
    • It’s a constant game of self-awareness, isn’t it? Balance takes focus.

      July 15, 2014
  33. I read your blogs backwards, reading the intro one (this one) second. So I already hear you loud and clear and agree with the sameness that permeates our world. The closed mindedness I experience — and encourage through my own reactions. It’s like when I read a blog not long ago and discovered this fantastic huge stainless steel spider outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Who would have thought that it would look so cool? Through her blog I went to their website and discovered all sorts of wonderful, modern art that I, a “non-modernist”, could appreciate. So my solution is go exploring. If I can’t stop in the local haunts, the Internet’s doors are always open.

    July 15, 2014
    • I know Louise Bourgeois’ work, and I dearly love those spiders. I’ve seen several of them in person. My favorite one is in DIA: Beacon. It’s in a tiny room that can hardly contain it.

      July 15, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. College Football? What a Waste of Time! | The Accidental Cootchie Mama
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