Saturday, January 2, 2010
Party Like It's 1999.. Sort Of
Ever had one of those surreal moments when you just feel like you're in a dream-one where nothing feels quite right and you stand out from the crowd like the proverbial sore thumb? (Yeah, I said it. Proverbial, baby!) Ever felt that rising horror when you realize it's not a dream? Happy New Year, everybody! Wooh! (ok, enough of that- it's back to my dark party corner for me.)Too many times in my life I have felt adrift in a crowd- where I just couldn't let myself be lulled into the group consciousness-no insult to the people around me, but "baaaaah" is not my favored refrain. My snarky objectiveness has often kept me from feeling the spirit of an event and be unable to submerge my tendency to ask questions first...and later. My inability to flow with the crowd, to not only come up against the rocks in the river but sometimes to be one is not something that most would think of as a gift, but I do. While standing out from the crowd marks some as prey, I think it makes me a better predator, poised to devour real life and not the pap so many would have me ingest. While I don't say that standing out somehow shows the "courage of my convictions" I do think it shows that I'm becoming more OK with exploring the great unknown. Perhaps it's only pride, but I would rather stumble seeking knowledge on my own than wait like a baby bird for someone to drop knowledge down my throat. ( I mean have you seen how baby birds are fed ?! Ewww!) Perhaps it's only a sense of superiority or smugness that makes me look around a crowd and wonder "What's the point?" Perhaps it's really a deep seated insecurity, a longing to belong to the pack. (Naah.) Perhaps it's an ephiphany that as much as those other people look like they know what's going on and look like they are having the time of their life, they have as little idea as I do, and aren't honest enough to admit it. There is no shame in being able to be sociable. To be able to move through a crowd easily takes an emotional intelligence that I don't have but definitely respect. On the other hand, an inability to be susceptible to the pull of the crowd isn't a talent to be sneezed at either. To be able to stand back and view a situation objectively can often lead to a greater understanding of how well we all work together...or could. (I mean it's not like those drunk folks are gonna put themselves in taxis, now are they?) Do I sometimes wish I could be the life of the party? No, ..and yes. Do I sometimes wish I could fall under the crowd's spell? Again, no...and yes. Do I sometimes wish life really were more like an ad for Courvosier? (Um, maybe without the video hoochies). But not at the cost of myself...of truly "losing" myself in a crowd. Group dynamics is how society works, democracy and mob rule at both ends of the spectrum. But individualism is how the world is transformed -from Leonardo Da Vinci to Einstein, individuals have led the charges that have changed the world. And while I may not start a revolution, at least I can start with me changing my need to be accepted into a realization that I only need to be accepted by myself- with changing from insecurity about my place in life to a willingness to be challenged by the unknown. It's 2010 folks- get your party on, even if it's only a party of one.