A while ago, I wrote a blogpost about how people keep suggesting me to “go out” and encounter opposing worldview NOT because they care about me, but because I refuse to appease to their preconceived beliefs; they want to discredit me, but aren’t able to.
I just realised “going out” also means leaving one’s comfort zones. Once again, I see this as a good thing. You won’t know what you love or hate, what you are good or bad at, unless you try something new.
But, just like the previous case, they don’t care about my well-being. They want me to leave my comfort zone NOT because I am too comfortable inside (which is unfortunately true), but because they want to shove their interests and agendas down my throat.
They want me to do sports, automotive hobbies and any “adventurous” activities like indoor climbing because they themselves love those activities and/or they have a shallow and arbitrary idea of masculinity.
They want me to do group activities because they are zealous extroverts who think introverts like me are damaged, poor souls who must be cured from a horrible mental illness that is introversion.
They want me to consume certain music and films because they want to eradicate tastes which they consider as “uncool”.
How can I be certain those are not baseless accusations?
Well, first thing first, the “new” activities they join have always interested them since forever.
They do new sports because they have always loved sports. They do automotive activities because they have always loved any car-related things. They do things like skydiving because they have always been adrenaline junkies.
You never see them doing calm-paced activities like reading books, visiting museums, having a stroll in the park, learning “useless” or niche knowledge like history, religion or urban planning. Definitely not voluntarily.
They join group activities because they have always loved big social settings; they love them so much, they helped spreading COVID-19. You never see them being voluntarily solitary.
Everything they consume is popular and trendy. You never see them interested in discovering new styles of music and films. They are proudly basic.
Overall, their idea of leaving comfort zones is doing things that they know they will enjoy.
They also don’t take no as an answer. If I try their suggestions and I don’t enjoy them in the slightest, they will harass me to try them again. They won’t stop until I enjoy them.
With those information in mind, it is evident that they criticise my lifestyle NOT because I am too comfortable in my comfort zones, but because I am too different for their liking.
Somehow, my ‘peculiarities’ personally offend them.
It should be pointed out that their interests are far more mainstream than mine, at least in where I am from.
Sports – whether spectatorship or actually playing them – are undeniably popular all over the world. While they are not the popular, automotive hobbies and adrenaline activities have notable presence in many Indonesian cities, including my hometown. And I certainly don’t need to explain about pop culture. No matter how uninterested you are, you would still get involuntarily exposed to them.
Meanwhile, mine are much more niche.
I stood out as a teen because I preferred oldies, some of my favourite films are unorthodox arthouse, bibliophilia is almost unheard of (I used to read a lot more books) and there aren’t any mainstream platforms where one can discuss social science, humanities and the arts beyond the basic facts; I am also interested in urban planning, a topic which is growing in popularity yet still a niche, even online. If you are uninterested or aren’t being forced to study them, you wouldn’t get exposed to any of them.
I can argue they should be the ones who try embracing my interests instead of the other way around. But, I am not that conceited and I am self-aware enough to realise I need a lot to learn in life.
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