In “The Breakfast Club” Ally Sheedy has that famous line about how “when you grow up, your heart dies.” For a long time I worried that because rock & roll has become super boring in the past fiveish years that my heart, had in fact, died. Then I stumbled upon things like Wild Flag or Passion Pit or (this week at least) the Prissy Clerks and I’m all “it’s not me, it’s rock & roll.”
Boring. I’m sure you’ve read me whining about this before.
So instead of worrying about my heart dying, I’ve been more concerned about my brain atrophying, or to be more specific my taste calcifying. Sometimes I feel so caged in by my own taste that I cease to be amazed by things. It’s as though my pop culture filtering system is too efficient and maybe I’m missing out on stuff that might be good because I’m being too snobby and entrenched in my own cult of personality.
I firmly believe the Internet allows us to build silos of personality where our choices and tastes are continually reinforced by the likeminded people and media we surround ourselves with. And I love the crap out of everything I let in my silo, but Silo, you are bringing me down.
Which is why I have challenged myself to do things that I don’t think of as things I enjoy and try to either enjoy them or really figure out why I do not enjoy them.
This weekend I baked. I hate baking. Baking is chemistry and precision and patience. I do not enjoy any of these things, and at about 2:30 on Sunday after my fourth attempt to make caramel sauce (which is literally boiling sugar and adding butter and cream) I threatened to burn my own kitchen down.
But I tried. I will try again. Because even though I hate baking, I want to find a dessert that I can make that will be like my thing. Kind of the way soup and potato salad have become my thing. I like having things and if I had a go-to delicious dessert that didn’t involve adding water, egg, and oil to a box of Ghirardelli brownies, I’d be ready for my Queen of the World crown.
And it is in the spirit of pushing myself out of my comfort zones that I have a copy of The Hobbit in my possession. It’s also why I just finished a shitty book on my iPad. I finished a book I didn’t like in a format I don’t enjoy reading. And now I feel all smug about it.
Yeah, this sounds like the worst plan for personal growth ever. I know. But, if I uncover a single buffy-like thing in all the stuff I’ve dismissed it’ll be totally worth it.