It starts early. The moment we find something we love and quickly discover it’s not cool to love that thing. Most of us do one of two things, we love it in the dark or we tell ourselves we don’t love it.
I often wonder what was loved in the dark by the people in our lives telling us what was cool.
This embarrassment becomes ingrained into us and eventually, we’re older and afraid to love something as purely as we did when we were younger. As with so many areas of our life, we’re afraid of what other people will say.
There are the things we love in the dark because we don’t want to be teased about them. Pop music, trashy television shows, whatever it may be. The time I wasted in my youth wiping my life clean from a late night dance session to a band I didn’t want people to know I listened to. The time I played dumb when someone was making fun of something I secretly loved but didn’t want to admit.
Whether you did this yourself or you teased someone for something they loved.
What point comes from making fun of someone for something they like?
Who are we to decide what is worthy of bringing someone joy?
Growing into ourselves is hard and painful — all the years we spend trying to fit into shapes unlike our own, trying to squeeze out the excess, trying to add parts that don’t fit.
I spent so many years loving things in the dark, hiding bits and pieces of myself away, terrified those bits would go against the part of me everyone else saw. I want all of those wasted moments back — all of the times I refused to let myself be excited.
Give yourself permission to be excited about the things you truly love.
Stop putting your Spotify on a private session when you want to listen to “embarrassing” pop music alone in your room.
Remove guilty from your guilty pleasure.
Don’t give energy to people who make fun of you for what you like.
Find the spot inside of you that gives you warmth and nurture it.
Love the things that bring you unbridled joy out loud.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I was in the middle of buying a Harry Styles t-shirt.