A Few Random Thoughts I’ve Had Lately

At the start of the pandemic, I downloaded TikTok out of sheer boredom. Somehow, I ended up finding a community of others willing to learn, teach, and grow our understanding of the world around us. It’s been a comfort when I needed it, when I needed somewhere to socialize without having the ability or option of leaving my home. But lately it’s become more of an aggravating annoyance. Every other video is about how to handle a romantic or platonic relationship, the “healing journey”, or what emotional maturity supposedly looks like.

Each of the video topics annoys me for different reasons, but I think it mostly comes down to each and every one of them having a superiority complex overall. “This is the right way to do things in a relationship, this is the wrong way.” “This is the right way to heal, this is the wrong way.” “This is the right way to deal with emotions, this is the wrong way.”

It’s exhausting. Everyone is different. Everyone uses different coping mechanisms to deal with the things they struggle with, some healthy and some less so. But who is to say what is and isn’t healthy for someone else? Can we just let them be and let them decide for themselves what is best? It’s as if our culture loves to say you only hold value and worth if you do things a certain way. I’ve never held the belief that anyone is more or less worthy than another no matter what. Are there certain things that are objectively bad and wrong? Of course. But context matters, too. Everyone has a different belief system, way of thinking and relating to the world around them, unconscious biases, etc. It almost seems as though everyone in western culture has this incessant need to force others to comply with what we believe is best. But who is to say what really is best for another? Even parents get it wrong when it comes to what may be best for their children, teachers sometimes get it wrong when it comes to what may be best for their students, governments can get it wrong when it comes to what may be best for their citizens (especially the most vulnerable among them).

I know in recent weeks a lot of those same TikTok videos, even from mutuals on the platform, are starting to feel triggering of old trauma that I’m still working through. It’s making me need a break from the platform altogether, and I’ve found comfort in listening to audiobooks as I declutter and organize my home. I’ve always enjoyed learning about different philosophies, psychology, ethics, etc. and that’s what the majority of by TBR list is at the moment. It’s interesting to think back and realize every boyfriend I’ve ever had was able to see that interest in philosophy within me. More than one of my exes even suggested listening to podcast and audiobooks, which I’ve only gotten into within the last year or two. I never really agreed with them at the time, but it’s almost clear as day looking at my current habits, the audiobooks I’m listening to now, and the ones I keep adding to my TBR list on Goodreads or my wish list on Audible for those unavailable through the Libby app from my library.

Right now, I’m listening to Who Is Wellness For? by Fariha Róisín. It’s interesting how much I can relate to the story while not having much in common with the author outside of relating to the feelings and emotions being written about it. I’m only about halfway through the book, and have about 20 other audiobooks from the library on the Libby app. The more I listen to the book, and the more I look forward to the other books on my TBR list, the more I find I’m longing for and wanting someone to read along with so that we could discuss the books and topics of the books. I found it’s one of the best ways for me to connect with others. I love talking about different experiences that we are reminded of while reading books like the one I’m currently listening to and ones on my TBR list. I don’t know why exactly, but I find it an enthralling experience that allows me to open my mind to new perspectives and ways of looking at the world. When I find those people, I know love. And I’m frustrated lately because I don’t know where those people, my people, are right now. I hope we find each other soon. It’s like I’ve outgrown those I used to be able to connect with about these things. I know they say growth is lonely because it often includes loss and grief is necessary. But it still sucks. And I still long for those I can connect with, that I can talk about these things with someday soon. I want that so much.