T R E N D S.
Defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the general direction in which something is developing or changing. A fashion.
As I page through the most recent ‘In Style magazine’ (which cost me an arm and a leg, might I add), it has taken me a few minutes to come to the conclusion that I hate, yes, H A T E, the current bohemian trend that has knocked on the fashion doors. Calf-length pleather boots that have a strangely shaped thick heel, and skirts that resemble the shape of a box just don’t appease nor excite me. Bell bottom pants remind me of my awkward years growing up, where the Spice Girls were my only choice of music (I’d still go see them live), and where watching MTV was my only aspiration in life. The 70s trend has yet to be monumental in my life, and although I respect all trends that present themselves to the world, I can’t say that I love them all. It was in the midst of my paging through the magazine that I realised the obvious conundrum (if you can call it that) that presents itself to society all the time: to like something and live by it, or to not, or if you’re lucky, not be completely unaffected by the changing tides in society.
This trend has brought me back to a time in my own life where I fell in deep love, head over heels (no pun intended) with a pair of Birkenstocks that still occupy the same place in my heart. I will never forget the opposition I endured when this love affair with those shoes began, based on the fact that much like the 70s trend I spoke of, they’re a either a pair of shoes that you either love with fiery passion, or despise with an equal amount of passion. I spent a vast amount of time trying to explain my love for these odd shoes, reasoning that they resembled my obscure personality at times, till I realised that much like in fashion or any aspect in life, you really don’t need to spend endless amounts of time explaining what you love and why you love it: sometimes it’s merely enough to find your footing in a particular place, and instead of spending your energy trying to appease those who don’t get it, you can spend less amounts of energy being in peace with where you are.
In the same manner that the 70s trend goes right over my head and way past my heart, something that I love and identify myself in accordance to can have the very same effect on someone else, and waiting on validation or an understanding of that passion might always leave me wanting so much more than another trend: it might actually leave me wanting to find my identity in what other people would deem suits me best.
We live in a world that, as Carl Lentz once said, is waiting to tell you who you are. At the age of 22, I can testify to the fact that I have seen millions of trends in shopping stores, and even more trends and fads in society, come and go. And fewer things are as elusive as trying to find your identity or yourself in something as fleeting as a trend, and in the same way a trend comes and goes, the applause from anyone other than yourself or God is equally as fleeting. With my past few months spent immersed in the STRANGEST combination of Law School and all things creative, I’ve realized that wherever you go, the desire for validation, applause or trendy stamps of approval present themselves as a free ticket into prison, with the bail being the acceptance of the fact that you just don’t need to live up to a trend to be content.
So where trends come and go, and the desire to wear them all while they last might be tempting (both in fashion and in real-life society), what is the answer? Just staying grounded. I love my Birkenstocks, a trend that some might never understand, and as much sentimental value as one could possibly find in an item, it’s never wise to find one’s identity in something so fleeting. If the woman makes the dress, and the dress doesn’t make the woman, then surely it is fair to say that the woman makes the trend, the trend doesn’t (and shouldn’t) define her.