Last month, I became fascinated with exploring life and human behavior; why we do and think the things we do and what ties us together as one big ‘ol dysfunctional family. I’d observe the people and places I came into contact with on a daily basis, the tweets and posts I’d see on social media as well as digging deeper inwards and exploring myself and how I fit in this grand concept called Life. Doing this made me realize that contrary to popular belief, we’re much more alike than we think. We all unconsciously share similar behaviors, have similar worlds of thought and share similar beliefs. I remember at one point, weird confessions were a trending topic on Twitter and everyone hopped on the wave, sharing some weird things they’ve done or habitually do and although it was hilarious to see how weird people are (shooting this at the people that pour their milk first followed by their cereal), it’s also a beautiful thing to witness us in our rawest form, becoming vulnerable and sharing the parts of ourselves that we’re afraid of showing to any random stranger and being met with acceptance by people that share the same practice or belief.
Remember when you thought that you were the only one who flattened your sandwich to make it more enjoyable and easier to eat? Newsflash: 7,599,999,999 other people probably do it as well. And you liking the smell of gas? I’m with you on that one. I’d stick my head out the window like a cute doggo every time I go to a gas station and now I don’t feel weird about it. I partook in the trend as well and I felt no shame in sharing that I have to wear slippers every time I shower because the thought of my feet coming in contact with grime or someone else’s pubic hair scared the living shit out of me and I found out someone does the same and it brought a strange sense of peace to me. But me being me, I dug deeper than that and although it was nice to see so many people from all over the world coming together to share their experiences on this broad topic, it was even more beautiful to see us communicating and expressing ourselves in a safe space and realizing that in the grand scheme of things, in this big, scary world… We’re not alone.
It’s a joy… It’s such a great joy to figure that out.
We don’t realize it but we all have this guard up and we allow ourselves to be isolated from the people around us. According to the well-known Japanese concept Ikigai, one of the secrets to a long and healthy life is finding and building strong social ties with those around us. One way we can do that is by being more open about our experiences, our thoughts and feelings and building a connection with those around us. There is always someone out there that is going to be able to relate to us, no matter how long it takes us to find them.
Opening up can be hard, I know. Dealing with depression and anxiety and all the things that come with that can be burdensome for me and I’d feel this tugging feeling to open up to someone personally and let them know how I’m feeling but I couldn’t. Slowly but surely though, writing is helping me get out of that unhealthy practice and has helped me connect with some amazing and supportive people that go through the same as I do.
So before you feel ashamed about how you spray your condiments all over your food before you eat it or about how you have imaginary arguments in your head (that you always end up winning), share it… There’s someone out there that does the same. You are not alone.