23
Oct
13

The Trended or the Trendsetter?

Some of you dear readers might be of the sort who hate people giving them advice on how to be like someone they recently saw on TV, read about in the newspaper or met on the street. Some of you might be of the odd sort who put every bit of such advice to good use or through a remarkable filing filter. I am inclined to be of the former and not of the latter.

Who are you to tell me who I should be like? Other sources would argue I should be original. I am free to say no. To strangers, say, “Nay; stay away.” [Okay. That one wasn’t related to the subject at hand, but I threw it in there.] And, according to one soda company, be a vegetable with a unique t-shirt. [Although mixing a few dozen flavors together may be original, it doesn’t guarantee the product will taste good. I used to mix sodas as a kid, and it didn’t make the taste experience more enjoyable. I was just being a silly, experimenting kid with access to a restaurant’s soda dispenser.]

Someone recently handed me an article that boasted yet another string of quotes from a “famous” writer. [How many of you either receive these or hand out quotes from people you encounter, hoping to take up a flag like some kind of mantra for your life if you have the determination to stick with it?] And, as I read this document, I heard the echoes of a dozen voices. Voices that had already picked this up somewhere. They were repeating something passed through a grapevine from…someone.

As far back as I can remember, kids in my classes were spreading trends like wildfire. I’d go to class one day and find everyone but me wearing jelly bracelets or some weird kind of Swiss wristwatch with a rubber band stretched over the face to protect the glass. Why wasn’t I informed sooner?

Where am I going with all of this (you with shorter and shorter attention spans are asking)? You can either be TRENDED or you can be a TRENDSETTER. You may not get your name in lights, but if you aspire to be the latter, be original. Do what feels right to you (as long as it doesn’t intrude on anyone else’s domain or property).

What’s your reward? You won’t feel opressed or enslaved. You’ll never be uncomfortable in your own clothes (unless you–like me–struggle to find enough articles to fill a pleasing wardrobe) like kids who are forced to wear certain outfits by their parents and certain businesses that enforce a uniform. You won’t have to pass through anymore putty molds that make you more stiff/square or “well-rounded”/”diversified” at your own risk. You won’t spend the rest of or any lengthy portion of your life feeling like a machine for someone else’s profit only to clutch the few years of life you have left later with a bottle of pills and a boat-load of aches and pains which deny you the joys you could have lived with the universe in your grasp before your brain kicks the bucket. Hopefully, you won’t start an “ape-mad” rebellion and turn the world into flaming chaos. But, you’ll surely breathe easier instead of feeling like a number or dirt.

I’ll give you an example in recent news. Someone wanted a unique tombstone for their daughter’s grave. The funeral home/cemetery turned this idea down to keep a certain standard. Fair enough. The cemetery had a standard (as we all should). So, let the family take their daughter somewhere more open to the idea of a unique tombstone. Why should this life that is as special as anyone else be denied a last request? It just has to be done somewhere…else? Maybe that will start a trend. Maybe somewhere you’ll find a cemetery of cartoon tombstones. It will be an amazing gallery of characters people liked and continue to like…only in memory of the fans and the artists who drew them. An honor to at least two people per stone.

I may be a bit of a hypocrite to take a line from this article I read about a certain author’s advice to writers (because I just scoffed at listening to or repeating other’s advice), but, if I am going to write stories only I can write, I am going to have to do them my way. And, that may not agree with or follow someone else’s advice or rules or standards. I may not do a hundred “kiss-ups” every morning or recite “rubber baby buggy bumpers” and “roo-da-bay-ga” to loosen my lips. I may not drink raw eggs or run three miles every day. I may not write a book in less than a month for some annual contest or mimic some famous writer in the history books. But, why would I?

Hopefully, I will write with a fine English head on my shoulders. Hopefully, I will complete all of the stories I can imagine and put them in the hands of respectful readers. One day, you’ll read about me or something I wrote/crafted. You may not see my name attached because I am dead. You won’t find it on a certain trending website. But, someone read something I wrote or saw a picture I created. And, it will inspire them to take up a trend, to pick up a pen, pencil or brush and try to do what I did. Then, on that day, I’ll be a trendsetting champion, and you’ll hear me roar. [That’s right, Katy Perry. I’m “trending” you.] Maybe one day people will look back at my work and refer to me as a style to emulate like that one guy who is heralded for his tragedies full of swordplay and doses of poison…

…But, what if they try to do it their own way? What if they choose to be…original? Well then, there may no longer be any trends. It is the age of Aquarius, after all. And, no Aquarius wants to be the same as someone else. But, if every Aquarius is not like the other, doesn’t that still make them alike?

So, maybe I am writing this for nothing. Maybe all I had or wanted to say was, “No. I don’t need to copy what you did.” Maybe I’m already doing something that’s been done. Maybe every rebel is alike, too. If I don’t succeed in all of my ambitions, it’s no more a loss than that of one life in this massive yet seemingly small-minded world. I will still try to be a force of a creative nature.

If you read this far, you can at least say I fertilized your mind. So…so there. [Scurries away. Comes back to retrieve his soap box.] Carry on. Carry on. Move along. Walk. [Stumbles over something that triggers a car alarm and scares off an alley cat.]

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