Little shiny gems of understanding. Sea glass in washed-up social media garbage. The universe saying: I hear you!
That’s how it feels when a resonating inspirational quote washes over me mid-scroll—and the reason I have so many of them saved in my camera roll.
I know that many of these quotes are the marks of highly targeted messages of manipulation based on overheard phone conversations, massive amounts of data collected from clicks, and items purchased on Amazon. But it’s still nice to feel understood—simultaneously unique and part of a larger collective of humans experiencing loss, or hurt, or extreme gratitude, or fed-upness, or…
The -ors are endless.
For me, internet quotes, just like their sarcastic cousin—the meme—have the power to alter the course of a day after reading what feels like world-ending news. Or while sitting in a meeting that’s spinning in circles. Or experiencing anything in the collective while wondering if you’re the only one feeling a certain way.
It’s comforting to know that a person you’ve never met is missing their newly launched college kid too. Or that the colleague who is pulling off engaged in that square on Zoom is also thinking: What are we even talking about right now?
Or that the rollercoaster that is middle age is a human stage that will not result in me melting into an actual menopausal puddle. (I could do without some of the images though. The detailed illustrations of apron belly, for instance, that now inundate my feed. No need, Instagram. I have a mirror.)
Actual human contact may still the best way to feel the community. But my happyish journey is also showing me that being seen and heard is not a zero-sum game. The well-timed quote, meme, or funny TikTok from a person I barely know can be the difference between feeling alone and aloneish.
It takes a village of connection to make sense of this longish journey. And this blog—and all of you—are part of mine. And so is the adorable kid in England who is Door Holder Number Three in his school nativity this year. And every Schitts Creek GIF ever made.
Wishing you and yours a very happyish holiday!