June 16, 2007

Lesson Four: Get Caught Up in Fads

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Defining yourself can be a difficult task. I touched on this point last week when I implored everyone to become obsessed. It’s much easier to identify yourself when your identity is out of your control. No decisions to make that way.

Well, if you’re still having trouble defining yourself, I highly recommend becoming caught up in fads. Remember when you used to collect beanie babies? (Oh, you know you did.) Or when you had “LiveStrong” branded on your wrist? What about now? You think you have to have a Myspace page to be original? Of course not. It’s what’s in style, and liking/doing what everyone else does gives you an identity. What that identity is doesn’t really matter.

If you want a little more control over who you are but are still too lazy to do everything, you could try falling into counterculture fads. These are basically the same as other fads. In fact, the only real difference I can think of is that these fads tend to be less popular than the big ones. So you can define yourself by being a different than a lot people but exactly the same as all of your friends. Examples would be punk, emo, goth, or anything else that involves dressing ridiculously and listening to horrible music.

If you still crave a little more control over your identity, you could always try stealing little things from each fad. Maybe you dress in leather but really really like the Backstreet Boys (still). However, this solution poses one major problem: it tends to take some work. You can’t just fall in line with everyone else. Worse still, you become dangerously close to becoming an individual who controls their own identity and we certainly can’t have that. In fact, forget I even mentioned it. If you’re struggling to find an identity, you should go with emo. Definitely emo.