Monday, July 7, 2014

Sociable self-discovery

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM

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Silver-haired Porsche drivers generally get all the credit on this one, but I’ve discovered that none of us are ever safe from the ever-looming identity crisis. At the tender age of 30-something-or-other, I’ve found that most of my friends are just now reaching the conclusion that they’ve, so far, done everything wrong. “What am I doing?” They ask me, “Where am I going?”

Look, I’ve got my own problems: I’m in the middle of planning a wedding I can’t afford, I practice yoga like a dying cat on a ventilator, and I’ve never managed to brew a cup of tea that doesn’t taste a little bit like feet.

But if I understand the majority of the Tao Te Ching, you have to just let it go. Or perhaps, go your own way, as Fleetwood Mac has sagely advised us all since 1977. I know my Fleetwood Mac lyrics; they replaced my psychiatrist in 2003.
I think the easiest way to live the teachings of the Tao Te Ching — or the equally compelling musical stylings of certain aforementioned Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees — is to get to know yourself really, really well.

Enter Buzzfeed!

You’ve seen the quizzes reposted on your Facebook feeds, I’m sure. Your friends, perhaps grappling for a steadier sense of self, click on links to find out which Hindu God they may be or — arguably more relevant — what kind of pocket.

Thanks to this seemingly endless cycle of self-discovery, the previous balance of my Facebook feed has been upended. I’ve gone from 80 percent pictures of babies I don’t know, 15 percent pictures of babies I do know, and 5 percent strange public queries from my mother to 75 percent Buzzfeed quiz reposts, 10 percent posts from friends turning their worlds on end due to results of said Buzzfeed quizzes (i.e. "I’m Marie Curie?"), and holding steady at 15 percent pictures of babies I don’t know. (My mother has resorted to just showing up at my door.)

Anyhow, given the undeniable popularity of these quizzes, I decided — for research purposes — to take a few. Here are the results:

1. I like pizza! In fact, my “devotion to pizza is real and my love for pizza is both true and beautiful.”

2. The super power I should actually have is “the power to melt into a puddle ... zooming around town like a liquid champion.”

3. I’m not a hipster. I like “normal stuff” and I’m “not a jerk." 

The pizza thing is no secret. I carry an extra three pounds with me at all times as a near constant reminder. Not a hipster? Agreed. I have Justin Bieber on my iPod, and not ironically. The power to melt into a puddle, though — now that’s something to think about. Should I quit my job, knit a waterproof cape, and corner the market in water-based heroism?

I remain hopeful that one day, one of these quizzes really taps into something meaningful — so I can share the results with all of my online acquaintances and strangers.

Oh, wait a second … Is this an ego thing? Is Buzzfeed getting us all to click on quizzes with names like: “Are You Holy Enough to Receive Communion?” (I got a resounding “no” on that one, by the way) because, scientific validity aside, we’re all just maniacally obsessed with talking about ourselves?

I don’t know. All I know is, I’m an Air Pocket.

K. Ring, a writer with extensive experience in news and communications, has been bottoming out in various potholes around Colorado Springs for seven years. She lives in Hillside with a handsome husband and an emotionally erratic dog. You can follow K.'s musings on the lighter (and weirder) sides of local life here and on Twitter (@SinghRing), or email questions and comments to RingKKS@gmail.com.

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