I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project,” her memoir of spending a year trying to make herself happier by testing different theories of what makes people happier – Exercise! Money can’t buy happiness! Be silly! Laugh more! – and eventually deciding that the most important thing she can do is simply…. Be Gretchen. So what if she doesn’t like jazz or classical music and, instead, digs lite FM radio? Eventually, she concludes that doing what makes your authentic self happy, and making efforts to grow along the way is the fastest way to be happier.
Honestly, I spend a lot of time not listening to my authentic self in a sort of mini-quest to appear perfect and happy all the time. There are things I do I don’t enjoy doing.
For example, this morning I woke up thinking about the new Britney Spears album. Released yesterday, I consider it a triumph and possibly my favorite thing she’s done in her entire 15 year career. Being a Britney Spears fan doesn’t really coincide with the “Pinterest Mom” thing I’m apparently/subconsciously trying to achieve, so I brushed off the idea of writing about the album on this blog.
Why not be true to my authentic self and just write about Britney?
I love pop music, and I’m talking cheesy pop music. Britney is my absolute favorite, but the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and a plethora of other pop acts are all among the 25 most played songs on my ipod. I adore Tori Amos, and cool acts like The Avett Brothers and The Crane Wives, and listen to them often. I get it – Adele and the Arcade Fire are great, but they don’t thrill me. I’m thankful for kids musicians like Lisa Loeb and Laurie Berkner and Justin Roberts, but I can only take so much of them.
When it comes down to it — Britney is the only artist who’s albums I pre-order.
And I’m going to Las Vegas to see her live show.
Because I also love Las Vegas. Even though it’s touristy and tacky and sometimes terrible. It’s a city I’ve visited twice and love, and will take any opportunity to visit.
Clearly, this is something I need to own upfront.
From here forward, I need to Be Jamie. And Jamie likes Britney Spears. And Las Vegas. And that’s okay. It’s okay to just be me, even if I don’t match some sort of All-Organic, All-Homemade, “Real Simple” magazine ideal.
I’m pretty cool.