I, your friend Jacki, I LOVE TikTok.
I started out being embarrassed about it, because it is a "kid's app" and "nothing but dances."
But then I started using it. And I started to get to know the algorithm.
Then I fell in love with it. The algorithm more than the app.
But then, a lot of people on the app as well.
I cried real tears when Mama Tot posted for the first time after her son had been murdered.
I squealed with glee when Richard the squirrel's living space was updated.
I watch in envy at the person (their name has 'beaver' in it, but I can't remember more than that) dancing, happily and oh so free, wearing whatever the fuck they want to wear that day (normally some 80s-looking getup with a sweatband), just dancing in their living room, which they've cleared out especially for this purpose. I got allergies when I saw her go toe to toe with a belly dancer while on vacation with her parents. She was so fucking happy. She's younger than me, but I look up to her.
Lexyiscool cannot be explained, but I always watch her videos to the end, because it is one of the only things on this planet that I cannot predict. She swerves in the best, oddest ways.
I've fallen in love with so many different art styles and artists. I've gotten to watch them grow in both confidence and skill. And they inspire me to try new things and to also trust myself. Plus, I saw what is quite possibly the sexiest ceramic vase on the planet.
And even better than all of that, it helped me fall more in love with ME. And learning more about myself.
Which is honestly pretty cool.
I know I've spent the last month or so yelling about how much I truly love BeReal (I am JackiOh, please add me. I wanna see the faces of as many people that I love as possible.) But the truth is, if you're not comfortable with what your TikTok feed is giving you, I do not think you'll be comfortable on beReal.
And that's okay - everything is not for everyone. I'm not writing this to get you to join TikTok or beReal or any other thing.
I'm here to say this:
Stop being embarrassed about what you love.
Fucking love it.
LOVE IT. And tell people about what you love.
Because (and me and this blog are proof of this) you might find a lot of people love the same things.
I spent a lot of years being put down and almost shamed for things I loved and I'm not even talking about the growing up parts. I mean when I was an adult and had grown up friends. The friends I had would sometimes make me feel dumb or small for liking things I did or liked or talked about.
But, as awful as that sounds to me now, it makes sense to my now-healing brain - that's what I thought people who loved you did. That's how love was shown.
Now I just think, girl, you needed better friends.
Even more than that I needed to be a better friend. Because I know I did the exact same thing.
"Oh, you don't like that -insert pop culture/food/book/other thing there-. Ugh, why not?"
In a way, that (obvious to me now) made whoever I was talking to feel bad. Terrible, in fact.
But I also made myself feel bad, because I felt like there was something wrong with me because this person I thought was so cool didn't like this thing that I loved so much. And I couldn't figure out the words to tell them that I wanted to share this thing I loved with them, not make them feel bad.
So I made them feel like I already felt so we could be miserable together? What the fuck was I trying to accomplish? What were any of us?
Figuring out what is going on in our own brains at any given time is hard enough, let alone trying to navigate interpersonal relationships. Friendships are hard, y'all. (But the real ones, the true ones are 100% worth it and I spent a lot of time the past two years learning that).
When I write out that brain process above it makes me feel crazy, but I guess I kind of am with the OCD and all. Honestly, that is a very perfect example of the beginning of an OCD spiral for me. It will just keep spinning and spinning until it convinces me to do something seemingly irrational, but makes perfect sense in brain ...in order to protect me from ~something~.
It it honestly kind of exhausting.
WTF was my point even today?
Like what you like.
Let other people like what they like,
For example, if someone posts about something that you do not like, did you know this?
You do not have to say one damn word. You can just ...be quiet if you don't like something.
I've made a concentrated effort to do this over the past couple months and it has done fucking wonders. My brain is more positive and I don't have to worry that I hurt anyone's feelings or made them feel small for something I don't like.
And that's one less thing to get spun up about!