Friday, May 18, 2012

Adorkable Nostalgia

I must confess: I've been listening to One Direction and Justin Bieber regularly - "regularly" meaning once a month. When I do have a little free time, as I do now, I resort to recalling the excitement of my youth, when I wasn't at all concerned with my taste in music or my wardrobe that included a Mighty Mouse sweatshirt, a Mickey Mouse obsession (I was jealous of Minnie, yes), multiple Peanuts t-shirts, and at least two pairs of pink and purple pants. And, remember those old Rider Sandals? The worst designed thing I ever owned. But, I wish I still had them. I regret to say, at (almost) age 24, that One Direction is so much more adorkable than the Backstreet Boys ever were. And, Justin Bieber will always be more talented than Aaron Carter or Jesse McCartney, even though JB looks more and more like a girl everyday. Sorry, man. The fact that I know this, and the fact that I own Never Say Never is embarrassing indeed.

It's an illusive thing, this recollection of that kind of youthful, because I'm not a 12-year-old anymore. I have to remind myself of that all the time. I mean, I have to remind myself how much I've learned since then, how much I've actually had to grow up, not how much of a dork I still want to be. Right? I want to clarify the difference between having a youthful heart and being youthful. Those are two very different things. I'm talking about being youthful. I hope to always have a youthful heart.

I think the biggest catalyst for this nostalgia is my little brother's recent high school graduation as well as a recent conversation with a good friend about how I never did anything remotely "rebellious" in high school. As we speak, my brother is carefree at the lake with his best high school buds fishing and doing other lakey shenanigans. His deep connection to our hometown is the same network of quality people and places that I was so ready to get away from at his age. I was ready to be adult-ish and gain better taste in music and wardrobe. I never did quite get that far on the latter, by the way. But, whose definition of mature wardrobe are we talking about? I suppose its my own new definition, since I moved to the city, where everything's sleeker.

I do want to grow up. I am actively doing so now. But I want it to be okay to still listen to today's (and yesteryear's) teen pop. I want it to be okay that I know what's happening in the world of politics, journalism, the arts, but also that I know each hunky teens' name in One Direction. I want it to be okay that I'm concerned with how popular music is destroying really good music that should be heard, but also that I appreciate the Biebster's sense of humor and the simplicity of his stupid lyrics for hoards of young girls, who just want to be treated right. I want it to be okay that I try to dress like I'm 24, but also that I really, really miss my Mighty Mouse sweatshirt because I gave it to Goodwill a really long time ago.

It's okay. I know. Dance parties will always be okay. My taste will never be super-sophisticated, nor will my wardrobe. My youthful heart, however, I hope becomes a certain kind of sophisticated - not sleek, but mature and hearty (ha, forgive me). One love, one heart, fo' sho'.

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