I've had some writer's block lately, which has been stellar since I'm trying to write a screenplay and realized a week ago that what I have so far is complete crap. But this morning I started to feel inspired again, so I'm pretty happy about it.
I want to talk about revertation. Revertation is probably not a word... but guess what, I don't care. I've decided that revertation is the act of reverting. BAM! Just call me Webster.
Now I know that life is a lesson and that it's important to adjust your sails based on acquired knowledge. However, there is a certain amount of power in reverting to the innocence of our youth. Who we were before we learned how to exist according to everyone eles's expectations. We are individuals, each and every one of us. However, as time wears on in our lives and we experience the world more and more- we become more run of the mill. We alter ourselves based on learned fears and behaviors. But as with everything else in life, it is vital that we instill a sense of balance to the equation. Learn to exist with others, but remain true to who we are at our core.
Let me address the "exist with other" portion of that statement. I use a lot of idealism in my writing, and plenty of "should," statements. But I realize that in order to coexist, we have to adapt to our surroundings. It's ideal to think that the true "you" should sit and play video games all day because it's what makes you happy, but it's not a practical survival method. The same goes for social coexistence. I know a lot of people who will tell you that they say whatever they want to others without worrying about their reaction because they are going to "be who they are." These are the same people I know who have hardly any social connections because people don't want to be around someone who cares little for their feelings, and these are the same people who seem to me to be consistantly unhappy human beings. It's not sacrifice of being true to yourself, but merely adaptation. You adapt, you consider the feelings of others. It may be considered slightly selfish to admit, but being kind and considerate enables that you will be more permitted to interact with other people. You give a little, you get a little. In return, they receive (considerate) interaction from you. Everyone wins.
On the other side of that balance is the idea of remaining true to yourself. I encourage you to think back to who you were as a child. What was important to you? And I mean before interactions with parents or friends changed you to adapt to your world. Before I was influenced by others, I was always a very weird kid. I'm sure that wouldn't come as a shock to anybody. I collected bugs, ran around barefoot, told people I was from outer space, and loved to play pretend. I remember my favorite game being "Speedy Gonzalez" (remember him?) and it consisted basically of running around our neighbor's fruit tree in circles as fast as we could. I don't remember watching TV pretty much at all and I would sneak into the kitchen and steal literally spoonfuls of sugar when my Mom wasn't around. I also remember sitting in my brother's room and listening to The Smiths and They Might Be Giants for hours on end while he was at school. Then my neighbors taught me what a Barbie doll was and that if I wanted to be accepted, I needed to stop playing pretend because it was "weird." So I grew up. I feel like a lot of my life went that way... people saying that what I wanted to do was weird so I would try to be more serious and socially "normal." I suspect a lot of people had the same experience.
It's important for us to maintain some of that sense of who we were as kids. Free, full of dreams and fantasies, individuals. We grow up and become so much of what the world tells us to be that we forget who we are at our core. It's time we revert. Revert back to who we were as children and remember to dream and play and to have fun. I spent an hour yesterday walking my roommate's dog (see: my old dog) and stepping in every pile of leaves I saw- just to hear the crunch. Totally weird, but completely awesome. We can't live our lives according to someone else's idea of normal. Closed mindedness really ought to be something we leave in 2011.
So the real question is how do you balance the two? How can you hold to who you are while coexisting with other people? I think the answer is to determine what behaviors of yours are detrimental. Most people are willing to accept oddities in others, so long as they aren't attitudes or behaviors that put people down. It's really a matter of "just be nice." The answer really is just to live with love. You can be weird, peculiar, strange, and bizarre. But remember to connect with others in acceptance and love. Love their weirdness, and recognize the beauty in their differences from you. Love is the only compromise you should make in yourself. In the end, it has a tendency to be what matters most.