Summer of my high school senior year, I wanted to chop half of my hair off. All of a sudden in the midst of all changes happening in my life, friends moving away, knowing that my daily high school routine would be forever disrupted made me want to change my hair to reflect on the bigger changes happening in my life. That summer was yet another example of an attempt I had to reinvent myself. In middle school, my “High School Musical” obsession and sports interests were factors that shaped my personality and who I was. In high school, listening to The Smiths and reading obscure books, reflected my teenage angst. Similarly, some of us are always trying to reinvent ourselves as individuals. Those are more than ice breakers or Tinder bio choices, but they build our individualistic and unique views in the world. We are unique. We are special. Right?
Throughout life, we are constantly bombarded with messages about being ourselves in different ways.. However, one of the harsh truths that a hyper-individualistic society hides from us is that we are not that unique or different. I am not referring to the good old criticism that millennials receive from baby boomers for getting “participation” trophies and ruining the economy. It is more about the basic understanding that we are all generally the same. We have the same insecurities regarding the uncertainty of the future, the same existential crisis about the meaning of life. All of us are disappointing, excruciatingly underwhelming and worst of all, simply normal. As David Foster Wallace wrote, “Everyone is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from anyone else.”