“It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.” – Stephen Fry
“I hate cliché.” – Robert Plant
I stopped by the grocery store a couple of weeks ago (on the day of the Super Bowl) and was joking around with the cashier. I had four things in my basket: two packages of popcorn kernels, Earth Balance, and lollipops. “It’s a vegan Super Bowl party,” I kidded. “I’ll be wearing my yoga pants and drinking yerba mate…” I went on and on, and the cashier had stopped laughing. He knew full well that I could be talking about any of the twenty other customers standing around me. I shrunk back with my reusable canvas bag full of organic snacks, and internalized that I was entirely and completely a 30-something cliché.
I am not afraid to laugh at myself and my wacky choices to fit in, or buy into what is on the market at any given time but there is something scarier to me underneath it all. Are we all becoming more cliché because we are given fewer options in a big box corporate world? I live fairly close to a big box store, and do I drive the five minutes to support the Mom’n’Pop shop that offers the same products and better service? Not often. Am I expressing myself in ways that conform to what it already out there, or am I sharing my unique vision?
I have a few key people in my life who are go-getters in this department. They are brave women who have the same time constraints as I do as a parent, but they are eeking out the time to make art, dance, and build their own economy. I admire them, and I would like to do more to support them in their journey. For them, and for the selfish reason to bask in their motivation and action. It makes sense to do this, right? And yet I am always the first to shoot down why I wouldn’t be a good fit for this or that. I am a hopeless naysayer.
Maybe this is my voyage of discovery that I need to work with others to manifest my dreams. My last employment situation was very fulfilling because it was a dynamic environment with the freedom to endeavor into new projects to achieve our mission. I succeeded with the support of someone who had the business savvy and another someone to delegate projects to. And the communication about team successes and areas to improve upon was really rewarding to me.
So maybe I won’t be a dance instructor or a solo photographer, but I do have a vision for this world and I can challenge myself to make bold and difficult decisions instead of following the status quo.