Confession time: I just this week listened to the Hamilton soundtrack all the way through. Heinous, I know. Late to the party, very. (In case you were wondering, I adored it and thought it completely lived up to the hype.) In my defense, I haven’t been entirely ignorant of it and at least got to it before those books that have been sitting on my “to-read” shelf since I was 16. I hadn’t been avoiding Hamilton because it’s so popular, but if I’m being completely honest it’s mass popularity wasn’t a motivator.
The alternative crowd — in all its various incarnations — has long spurned whatever’s popular simply for its popularity. Every age group has that crowd, but it seems to be a loud one among emerging adults (especially thanks to the hipsters). And there is some wisdom in that we should never like or do something just because it’s popular; lemming isn’t an attractive look on anybody.
But the hipster refrain that we shouldn’t like anything once it’s “cool” is tired, and honestly sucks the fun out of stuff. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean you should be hesitant to enjoy it, whether it’s entertainment, fashion, tech, or whatever. So order your pumpkin spice latte. Use your Snapchat filter. Admit that you love that one movie that has all the hype.
And then flip it around.
Just because something isn’t cool, doesn’t mean you should feel bad about enjoying it. I am a gigantic space nerd. Like, huge. The end of the Cassini probe made me tear up, I have spent 7+ hours in an observatory by myself, I follow NASA on all social media, and I can explain the aurora borealis in way more detail than you might expect for someone who didn’t study STEM.
The best part is it doesn’t matter whether it’s popular, because I love it. So your favorite band is super obscure and basically no one within a 300-mile radius has heard of them? Cool. So you do that unpopular hobby in your free time because it’s a good way for you to wind down? Awesome. Embrace the things that matter to you, especially if they make you (and hopefully the world around you) a better place.
What are some of your favorite things that you don’t talk about often? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up. I hope this made you feel a little lighter today, and good luck adulting!