Practicing Eclecticism: Becoming Who I Am

 

Eclecticism: the practice of deriving ideas, style or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. Does this idea define you? Because from the first time I heard it, sometime in middle school, it has defined me. I have never been just one thing. I have never let one idea shape who I am. Being eclectic has had wild effects on my life in several aspects of my life.

 

Clothes

If you have ever seen me in my casual wear, you know that my style is constantly changing. While most of the time I look pretty grungy in band tees and ripped jeans, I tend to drift from style to style. I love wearing dresses (mainly because that means NO PANTS!) and I enjoy spending time on my hair and makeup. I flirt with the idea of dressing “girly” on some occasions but I also wear a lot of athleisure wear due to going to the gym most days. I can go from Vans to heels in a split second. I think people are always surprised to see the things I wear and I have definitely been judged for wearing some of the things I have. And while I haven’t cared what people think of me since middle school, I know people can be mean. But I have been told so many times that people love my style and how I’m not afraid to wear things that I like. It is SO important to not give a damn because at the end of the day, you are the one dealing with you, so you at least better like what you’re wearing.

 

Music

Music has always been a HUGE barrier between me and a lot of people. Coming from a small farming community, pretty much everyone loves country music and I have found that a lot of people who love country music also love rap. This has always been the hard part for me because country and rap are my two least favorite music genres (no really, I would rather listen to polka). I have always believed that keeping an open mind about music is extremely important because you could be missing out on something great, and so I try. Don’t get me wrong, there are songs in both genres that I listen to, but I prefer other genres much, much more. One of my favorite genres is EDM. And believe it or not, there are a LOT of people who don’t like EDM, who knew? This is one of my favorites because it prompts you to let loose and feel the music rather than worry about singing along to the lyrics. I also listen to a lot of classic rock. Journey, Foreigner, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard and tons more. My dad introduced me to it ages ago and even though I hated it when I was a kid, I learned to love it in high school and it always had me wishing I grew up in the 80s. I listen to a lot of pop/today’s hits but also some rock/punk rock. I love my music taste because I can draw from so many genres and find things that I love. It can be hard not liking two of the most-listened to genres in my area because when it comes to parties or even car rides, you either don’t know what to play if you have the aux, or you don’t want to listen, but usually if you put on some throwback jams, everyone will be happy.

 

Religion

If you know me you know that I am an atheist. I have been one since middle school (after a third mention of this time period it appears I went through a lot of changes in middle school, lol) after I really started thinking about what it meant to believe in God. I contemplated it a lot and eventually came to my conclusion that there isn’t one. This has been another big barrier because nearly everyone I knew was religious and showed it. Coming to college has been a breath of fresh air because I have gotten to meet more atheists who I can discuss these topics with. When people ask me what I believe in, it can be hard to explain. I don’t believe in a heaven or hell. I don’t think there is a god who decides what happens to me when I die. I do believe in reincarnation, that our souls have the ability to transfer to another body when we pass. With this I believe we remain in our same forms, humans come back as humans and dogs as dogs. I also dabble in ideas of the universe--the idea of receiving signs has always intrigued me. I don’t think that people need a god to make them whole. I feel that there are a lot of people who live their lives a certain way (i.e.: not “sinning”) because they are so worried about the afterlife, and with this they aren’t actually fully enjoying their lives. I say do what you want to do because there is no guarantee of an afterlife, but there is a now.

 

Having the ability to take ideas from numerous different genres and styles has always benefit me and I will continue to do it. I have changed and grown in so many ways in the past few years and I am thankful that I have kept my mind open to new ideas and being willing to try new things, no matter how weird or crazy they seem. So, I guess my message for you is to keep an open mind because you may be missing out on some incredible things in life.