For a while recently, I was feeling irritable and kind of down. And being generally a cheerful person who likes herself as much as people do, if not more, it took me a while to realize what the problem was. It took some working out, but here is it: I was feeling lonely.
Me being me, I started to tell all my friends: hey, guess what I figured out? I’m lonely! And most of them said yeah, me too. I think I said that to maybe one person that didn’t have that lonely feeling too.
So I thought well, if we’re all bloody lonely, why aren’t we all spending more time together? Little things like cooking meals together and sitting around working together, besides big things like picnics and nights out and whatnot. Part of the issue here in New York City seems to be gentrification and the crazy cost of living – that everyone is so spread out, and hustling so hard to make outrageous rents that no one can afford the hour it takes to go across town for a cup of tea.
My mum said it’s this age. I think she meant the number of years ago that I was born, that people in their late 20s and early 30s are just kind of lonely. But I wonder if it’s this age, as in this era, this moment in time. This age of death and destruction, civil wars and the world is controlled by lunatics and despair, just despair. I was listening the other day to a story on the radio about an evangelical preacher who stopped believing in hell after he had a vision from god where god told him hell is here on earth. What else does hell look like besides (in his example) Rwanda, or (in mine) Qana? While that radio piece was actually pretty uplifting (and amazing), it’s a valid question. Plus, it’s hot as hell here in NYC.
Is that why we feel lonely – because we’re all feeling isolated in our grief and hopelessness? That’s a pretty grim vision, and not really my experience of life. I do work that I love, and try to be a good person who works damn hard for a better world. I don’t feel beaten yet. But I also don’t think that this many people who love each other and the world can feel lonely without it being related to the chaos in the headlines (and out of it).