Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a negative identity

everyday you hear of 17-year-olds making big, bold steps and trotting off to the big apple to become fashion designers or to los angeles to become the next heidi klum, and there’s an element of glamour in all of it because everyone in the whole world secretly wants to be a fashion designer so somehow eating saltines in empty apartments is considered beautiful. but what if the 17-year-old wants to run a bed and breakfast in a sleepy city instead of pursuing the spotlight, and what if the 17-year-old is actually 25? is there any allure in a twentysomething spoiling any and all chances of ever owning a condo in the city? and if owning a condo in the city would be, for me, the epitomy of personal failure, why am is so fucking afraid to run in the opposite direction? laurence boldt says: until we have taken the time to discover and affirm who we really are and what we really want, we are left with only negative identities and negative passion. we define ourselves by what we are against, and so have negative, not creative, passion. we are comfortable with rebelling but fearful of creating. [but] genuine creativity is never the result of a defensive reaction against something.

i guess i'm afraid that everything that i think i want is just a response to what i know i don't want. and i know allllll about what i don't want. i know i don't want to "manage" or "coordinate" anything. i know that i don't want to work hard to make someone else rich. i can rapidly fire off a list of things i find banal and uninspired, for instance:

guys who refer to themselves as "outdoorsy"
flannel in the city
skinny jeans
flannel in the city with skinny jeans (please, seattle, STOP!)
fretting about the economy
the phrase “work hard play hard”
broadway and the surrounding pike/pine area
mustaches/finger mustaches
95 percent of feminist theory (please don’t hate me, tyanne)
pine furniture (especially in kitchens with periwinkle curtains)
articles of incorporation
guys who leave ski lift stickers on their zippers
the seemingly endless obsession with pirates
jazz/blues/fusion bands in bellingham
western’s “take back the night” march
english majors who read harry potter

but i'm done running away from things i don't like. i don't want to define myself by not liking pirates. i want to pass out and see stars from running so hard towards the things that i do like and fall down slick with sweat, thinking wow, thank you, universe.


Tim said...

Fusion, maybe, but not in the traditional sense of what fusion music was, though it's sure a fusion of something. And I wouldn't go so far as calling it jazz or blues either. I'd call it a jam, but more like noodling mush.

tea said...

now list off 10 things that make you go "oohhhhh" &/or "mmmm" with upward intonation.
i can see the light.

rachel said...

but what if anthropologie started selling pirate clothes?