Hello, and welcome to Thursday! Do come in. Don’t worry about taking your shoes off or anything.
We live, as I’m sure you already know, in a society that is almost entirely based on rules and regulations: please stand on the right, do not feed the pigeons, and don’t mention the war. I have come to the conclusion that there are certain behaviours which we shun theoretically, but which in practice are actually completely ok to do. Here are a few things that society might frown upon, but we as individuals should embrace:
1) It’s ok to be the mad people laughing on a train
Last night, my house mate and I found ourselves travelling home via the Northern Line, and a slightly bizarre conversation took place:
Train announcement: “This train terminates at High Barnet.”
Ash (turning to me): “YOU terminate at High Barnet!”
Me: “It’s true. I do.”
Ash: “Every day!”
Me: “I know.”
Ash: “Always terminating at High Barnet!”
Me: “Except for that one time when I terminated at Edgware. That was weird.”
As you can tell, Ash and I are not prone to sensible discussion. This silly little interchange had us laughing like drains for much longer than was decent or necessary, and we were unquestionably the crazy (and I dare say annoying) people in our tube carriage.
2) It’s ok to stay in on a Saturday night
There’s always something to go to, isn’t there? Friends’ birthdays, colleagues’ leaving drinks, pub quizzes, house-warming parties etc. all claim our time and livers, weekend after weekend. But we are allowed to say “no”. We are allowed to stay home, get into our pyjamas at 7pm and watch rubbish television until bedtime. We’ve earned it. I’m not suggesting that we become hermits, but I think that a quiet night in every so often can do us the world of good.
3) It’s ok to talk about stuff you find fascinating
I am, as I’m sure my friends will tell you, full of absolutely useless information. I am also prone to “geeking out” (i.e. rambling) about topics that intrigue me, and I tend to enjoy spending time with people who are similarly verbose about their interests. Even if we might sometimes get carried away, or not find an audience who share our keen enthusiasm, it is absolutely alright to talk about stuff that you are interested in. After all, your interests a massive part of who you are, and people LOVE who you are.
4) It’s ok to be angry with someone
Again, I’m not condoning socially unacceptable behaviour: throwing stuff and yelling is probably stretching this one a bit far. What I mean is, it’s alright to go through the feeling of anger about a person or a situation. Stuff happens and people hurt us sometimes. That sucks. But if we repress the perfectly natural reaction (i.e. anger), then we are dismissing an emotion that has a valid place in our psyches. Let’s be realistic: find a friend, have a rant, eat a lot of cheese and wait for your anger to subside.
5) It’s ok to not get current trends
What the hell is with the backwards cap coming back into fashion? Why do people like Wagamama so much? What is the big deal about Game of Thrones? It’s totally ok not to be engaged with things that are apparently sweeping the world/nation/your social group. You’re an individual, and if you don’t like something that’s popular with your peers, it doesn’t say anything negative about you. You’ve just got your own style.
I decided to compile this list because I think we worry far too much about what other people think of us, especially strangers whom we pass in public, or friends who know us well enough to love us regardless of our idiosyncrasies. The whole point of life (surely) is to enjoy it and do our best in it, and if we are spending time worrying about the opinions of others, that is time we are wasting. We could be spending that time singing at the top of our lungs even though we can’t hold a tune, or watching terrible 90s sitcoms because we’re feeling a bit nostalgic.
Bearing that in mind, go and have a brilliant Thursday. If anyone needs me, I will probably be boring one of my colleagues with Spaced trivia.