Why does anyone have a blog? Well, I suppose that I have one because I want to get to know myself better by writing out my feelings and experiences. I could have done this privately in a journal, but I have elected to tell my secrets to the largely anonymous masses because attention and approval tastes good even if it’s given to you by people who don’t really know you. Yet I still convince myself I’m not doing it for the fame. You haven’t seen a listicle counting down the top thirty-five reasons I hate Caillou yet, and that’s probably the primary thing that’s keeping me from taking over the world. Elmo hatred is my bag, and these days he isn’t even bothering me all that much. Friends, that brisk breeze you feel is hell freezing over.
Aside from writing a blog, though, there are many other things I do in my quest to learn about the real me. One time I had a baby so I could see what Mom Emily looks like. (She wears a lot of high-wasted pants). Another time I moved to Korea to see what Emily Eating Kimchi is like. (Gassy. And likely inebriated.) Occasionally I go to Target to see what Emily Spending Money She Doesn’t Have is like. (She usually wakes up in the middle of the night with panic attacks but then takes solace in her chevron-printed throw pillows.) These are little parts of me that make up the whole.
But recently, it occurred to me that all these activities are superfluous to my quest to get down at the marrow of who I am. Why give birth, suffer buyer’s remorse, and edit my memories for a blog post when I could just take a quiz that will point me into the direction of what is essentially me?
I never know how popular certain websites are to people other than me, so allow me to explain what Buzzfeed is. It’s this website that I guess is technically news-oriented because it runs stories written from a journalistic angle on things that are going on around the globe. If you really need to read something about Senegal or schools in America, you would probably find it if you looked around enough. But why would you do that when there are tabs at the top of the site labeled “OMG”, “Fail”, and “WTF” that will lead you to short articles making fun of Pitbull? Buzzfeed is also a great place to learn about what’s going on behind the scenes on Workaholics, a TV show I would probably like if I were a nineteen-year-old guy named Luke who works at Gander Mountain.
More importantly, though, it has quizzes. Who can resist a quiz? I think it was Alexander Pope who said,
Know then thyself. Presume not God to scan. The proper study of Mankind is the web-based personality quiz you take after you read an article about funny autocorrects.
There is a lot I have learned about myself from the Buzzfeed quizzes I have taken, things that I never would have known had I been wasting my time blogging, trying a new hobby, or reading my child an Eric Carle book. I learned that if I were a design aesthetic, I would be a Wes Anderson movie. This makes a lot of sense because whenever my hectic schedule allows for it, I enjoy sunbathing in a three-piece tweed suit and doing pencil sketches on tobacco-stained legal pads.
I learned that if I were a ’90s alt-rock girl, I would be Alanis Morissette. I had always pegged myself for the Jewel-type because I’m more weepy and pensive than screamy, but Buzzfeed knows best. I guess it’s time to let the angry Canadian in me out.
Speaking of Canadians, did you know that there is also a Buzzfeed quiz that will tell you what Canadian stereotype you are? I didn’t, but boy howdy did I need to know that deep down, I am a lumberjack. Other than toothless hockey player, lumberjack was the only other Canadian stereotype I was aware even existed. The problem with this one particular quiz was that it did not tell me what to do with this previously undiscovered facet of my personality. Am I supposed to eat only pancakes – ahem, flapjacks – for breakfast now? Should I trade in my Prius for a Tundra? I already have some flannel shirts, but they are from the Gap. Do they still count? I need to know, Buzzfeed.
Particularly important to my understanding of myself were my results for the How Much Would Ron Swanson Hate You? quiz. How this fictional character from the NBC series Parks and Recreation would hypothetically feel about me if he knew me was probably the most important thing I never knew I needed to know. (Try diagramming that sentence if you’re feeling brave.) It turns out that this government-hating government employee who only consumes fat and proteins would tolerate me. This made me happy, but I can’t help but hold my results in this quiz against my results in others. I don’t think Ron Swanson would tolerate Alanis Morissette.
The mother of all Buzzfeed quizzes is the What Arbitrary Thing Are You? quiz. I answered a battery of questions and learned that the random thing that most closely aligns with who I am at my core is the ’90s musical group The Baha Men, notable for their song “Who Let the Dogs Out.” I interpret this to mean that I am a one-hit wonder, but it could also mean that I am good at barking melodiously.
Thank you, Buzzfeed, for helping me access all these parts of myself that I never knew existed. The knowledge that I am more than just a mom wearing ass-masking jeans imbues my life with so much more meaning. I’m a sepia-tinted Alanis Morissette who covers ’90s party hits while Ron Swanson reluctantly nods his approval. It’s all so clear now.
Have you ever taken a personality quiz, even if it was a tad more serious than the ones you find on Buzzfeed? What are some of the things you do to help you get in touch with who you “really” are?
Like me on Facebook? You should totally like me on Facebook. It’s like a warm puppy in your heart. Or bacon. Or finding out that Leslie Knope is your cousin.