There’s been a recent trend on TikTok called #mosaic where people explain small things they do that they’ve picked up from others. Whether it’s lacing their shoes a certain way because a favorite teacher taught them, or pretending that their favorite color is yellow because their 5th grade crush’s favorite color was yellow… The point being that we’re all mosaics of those around us; other people help make us who we are.
I think this trend is endearing, but also it has gotten pretty overdone on TikTok – to the point where people are now making parodies of it. Now there are #mosaic videos saying things like: I chew my food because my parents chew their food, or I go to the bathroom because my friends growing up went to the bathroom… (eyeroll).
But! Regardless! I like the sentiment & I think it’s a neat concept that we’re a product of others around us.
For me -the most immediate & obvious case that comes to mind is with my words & catch phrases. Day-to-day & especially now that I’m in new places constantly (& because I’m a notorious eavesdropper) – I’ll hear someone use a word or phrase & make a point to store it away for later. (Or for immediate use – who knows!)
Just recently – I’ve taken a particular liking to the southern phrase “y’all.” It’s friendly, it’s casual, it’s gender neutral. As a mere visitor to the south, I still feel like an imposter for using it – but gosh I’m going to continue! When ordering a cold brew today I asked the barista “do y’all have oat milk?” It felt less accusatory than asking “do YOU have oat milk?” & I don’t like adding a gender in there when phrasing it “do you GUYS have oat milk?”
Asking “do y’all have oat milk?” just felt right. (What didn’t feel right is that it inherently came out in my Minnesota accent (and obviously I pronounced “milk” like “MELK” ….)
I think it was in 4th grade – we were challenged to write our papers without using the word “very.” The reasoning being that “very” is bland and overused, and surely we could think of a more creative adverb than “very.”
(I had to quick confirm that “adverb” was the correct term. It is 🙂 )
My therapist (from whom I’ve stolen not just words but philosophies, learnings, etc.) had a wonderful execution of NOT using the word “very.” We were talking about an ex of mine & she stated that he is (and I quote) “remarkably emotionally immature.”
“Remarkably emotionally immature.”
(Just saying that louder for the people in the back (+ for my past self who still tries to make excuses for him and/or think of all the ways that I could have be more accommodating…))
Just THINK if she’d used the word “very” instead…
“Very emotionally immature.” See? Not the same effect. Not as scathing or impactful or memorable.
“REMARKABLY emotionally immature,” on the other hand… Phew! I’m going to think about that forever now (in a good way).
And because she used that word – I’ve made it a point to weave “remarkably” into my lingo when I really want to make a point. Gosh the ring to it!!
Like anyone with a unique name & a unique living situation would do – I have taken to searching Instagram for other people named “Greta” who also live in a van. It’s a niche group – but I assure you there are a few of us…
One of the Gretas that I’ve found lives in Australia. She posts monologue-style videos of herself quite a bit, narrating her day or a particular event. These videos are HEAVEN to listen to – I could listen to her Aussie accent ALL DAY. (Maybe don’t tell her I said that though – I think following her because of her name & van is creepy enough.)
In one of her recent videos – she was talking about taking her van to the mechanic & when they told her what needed to be fixed she was “keen on forking over however much $ it would cost.” Maybe it’s an Australian thing, or maybe it’s just a Greta thing – but gosh I absolutely stored the word “keen” away for future use. What a fun word to use to express your intention or your desire!
I’m now keen on using the word keen!
And really, I’m remarkably keen on continuing to use the word “y’all” too, Minnesotan accent or not!