On a different note, trying to deal with actually liking things. By which I mean: I tend to be horribly close-mouthed about what actually speaks to me, because I'm terrified of it being judged. For instance, I adore crows and ravens. They're incredibly beautiful birds, and I seem to see them more than other people do, so they really speak to me. But I've always been nervous about saying they're one of my favorite animals because they've developed such whiny emo kid connotations. (And/or Mary Sue name connotations. Or Silver RavenWolf, but let's not talk about her.)
If I like something and it's popular, I'm scared to admit it, because so much of what's popular apparently automatically sucks solely for that reason. If I like something that no one is heard of, I feel like I must be a terribly stupid person for liking something that is clearly just unlikable. (Granted, a lot of this is due to fandom --- I'm afraid of being identified with well-known fandoms because they're prone to having terribly-behaved fans . . . Harry Potter shipping wars, for instance, being a prime example. On the other hand, being in a fandom that feels like it's dried up completely is awfully lonely.)
I also end up feeling a bit off-balance because I tend to like a pretty eclectic variety of things. I feel like my life would be a lot easier if I had some clearly defined group that I was a part of. As it is, I have trouble describing myself to people (and tend to end up blending into the background as a result) because I can't articulate any over-arching pattern to my likes. Questions like, "What kind of music do you like?" (I have no idea why so many people ask me this question anyway; it seems as random as asking what my favorite color is, or what my favorite sea mammal is . . . . ) baffle me. I'm not really a fan of pop, or rap, or metal, or anything in particular. I like individual artists, but not genres. But I feel like it would be weird to say, "I like Lady Gaga, The Birthday Massacre, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Moody Blues, and the Beatles."
I love achromatic colors and purple; I like jewel tones and all shades of blue and indigo as well. I hate the colors yellow and orange. I love the idea of science fiction but often am depressed by actual sci-fi, especially if it's dystopian. I am completely fascinated by images of night and winter. I'm a big poetry reader, but usually don't like what I read. I don't understand the fascination that Kids These Days(TM) have with wolves and werewolves. I'm in love with 18th- and 19th-century fashion. I have a love-hate relationship with manga and anime. I enjoy playing video games but also believe they're essentially a waste of time and secretly judge gamers. . . . And so forth.
The problem is, if you don't happen to naturally like things that have already been slotted together into a category, that means having to go through everything by yourself and discover all of your own likes and dislikes and then synthesize them to create a clear identity, and this is easier said than done. (Of course.)
So for instance, I've always strongly admired goth fashion. But I've never "gone goth" (especially not during the tweenage phase when most people do it, when I was . . . well, I'm not sure exactly what I was, but it definitely wasn't goth) because I've always been scared of being judged for it. (And/or that I would have to conform to some incredibly rigid dress code and would never be allowed to like non-gothic things again, OH NOES!!!!)
Now I'm starting to feel like, if someone would judge me for wearing things that I think are awesome . . . why on earth would I want to be around that person to begin with? So I'm going to start edging slowly into goth. The challenge for is, as always, to find a way to incorporate things that I actually like into it. A lot of styles of goth don't speak to me at all --- rivethead, industrial, and so forth.
And, you know, not do the stereotypical whiny babybat thing and cry about how NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME MY LIFE IS SO DARK BAAAAWWWWWWWWWW.
Pic related: obviously this is my current state. At least I'm not BAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWing yet.
Oh goodness this entry is long. And no, I'm not going to add a cut because there's really no convenient place to put it.