Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Dangerous Attachment:

ONE of my biggest pet peeves in the multiverse (I’ve decided to start using that term because I’m nothing if not a Morgan Freeman fan) is when people refuse to accept change in others and themselves.

There are (likely) millions of people out there in the world who refuse to believe they have ever changed their beliefs, views, tastes or looks. They are loyal, which is a good thing. However, there comes a time when being overly-loyal just begins to look kind of stupid and extremely immature.

You see, we all change and we change constantly. If you were to believe my philosophy teacher from uni, it’s impossible to be the same person we were five minutes ago. Cells disintegrate, ideas drop out of our heads, new ones form from that decay and new experiences, opportunities and packets of information crop up.

The previously mentioned philosophy teacher has a brilliant method for describing this. He once stood up in front of our class and asked us, if we were to stand in the middle of Melbourne’s Yarra River and not move, would we be standing in the exact same river a minute later?

Change in people is rarely sudden. It’s usually a long process which begins with some major internal and external picking, choosing and struggling. As we grow and experience new things we select new tastes. I want to give everyone on this planet the benefit of the doubt and hope that we all select our developing persona’s based on what we view as positive. The only downside of this being that not all people operate on the same sense of logic. Logic, like #whitegirlproblemzzzz is something relevant to each individual based on that old filtration system (link) I’ve talked about before.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with change. I like change. In the past eighteen months I’ve changed my hair cut and colour more times than I can count on my fingers and toes. I’ve gone from bobs to pixie crops to my current cherry-red dreadlocks. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Yet, there are those who would label someone who changes her aesthetic as much as I do a ‘poser’. There are those who will say, ‘well I remember when you were fifteen and had straight, mousey-brown shoulder length hair and listened to the Gaslight anthem. Not Dub FX.’

To them I say, cool story bro. My mum probably remember’s when she used to smoke cigarettes. My sister probably remembers when she had incredibly long hair. I remember when I used to weigh more. I remember when I thought feminism was a bad thing. Does that not mean that now, with more experience and more education, I cannot disband those views?

Filmmaker and Vlogger Tim H recently made a fantastic vlog  which touched on this idea of changing opinions and growing as a person. He also hinted in his video that to come out with a new opinion after releasing an old one can, especially when you have a large platform of friends, family or viewers, be a bit daunting. Those previously mentioned people who despise change in the people they know are probably lurking about. If they are determined to be negative Nancy’s then they might just try and take this change as you admitting some kind of defeat (and that there is my opinion, not Tim H’s). As if you’ve accepted THEIR (repeat: THEIR) mentality that your old personality wasn’t good enough.

It’s a funny thing, but I’ve noticed that these negative commentators who refuse to embrace your personal growth tend to do the following things: 1) they themselves rarely change, and 2) they tend to focus on very shallow aspects of personality, like how you now do you hair and dress. They rarely focus on the content of your thoughts, or the conversations you have. They rarely address how much you’ve clearly learned and gained through these exploratory changes. That’s where they lose out, because they fail to recognise the treasures the rest of us find in changing it up and trying new things. Doing something as simple as listening to a different kind of music can take us on a whirlwind mental adventure. Perhaps that Glitch-Hop artist referenced a theory such as the multiverse theory which then inspired us to write a novel about it. Perhaps watching that documentary on Banksy – after previously writing him off as being ‘for hipsters’ – opened one up to the immense possibilities of counter-culture and how it’s still operating today. 

Change is good. I've said it before and I think I'll keep repeating it until the day I die; attaching oneself too strongly to any singular belief or ideal is highly dangerous. It means you'll never grow, you'll stunt yourself drastically because you won't have developed the bravery to move forward through life in a chaotic motion. Life is scary and random, and so are the people we become. Note that I wrote 'people', not the 'person'. Because, to use that river metaphor, we're going to become ten million people or more within the space of our lives, and that is a good thing.


As always let me know your thoughts in the comments because I love to converse about this stuff.

Xo, Ellen