I’ve been having a harder time than I thought I would. And with a few exceptions, my huge community and many friends haven’t been there for me.
I realize so much is going on. But in our speediness, giving kindness returns ease to our hearts and meaning to our lives.
I give that support and reach out, or try to express caring, often, every week, every year. Perhaps I miss some of you, or don’t know, or forget. If I have not helped, or tried to, I would like to apologize to you. Please DM or text me.
Coming from where I am now, perhaps that’s what this feels like: it’s not that folks don’t care, but that life has been made so fast by Big Tech and capitalism and overwhelm and fear and division that we don’t bother to invest in the threads of community, too often, these days.
But this has left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
Boulder, my time here may be running out. I do not expect a utopia somewhere else, but I do expect community, and community is not just for those with big families or big social lives—it’s for the wallflower, the loner, the broken-hearted, the struggling to pay her bills, the single parent, the bullied child—even the popular entrepreneur who’s devoted his hours to his work, to the greater good, and (apparently) left his life in drought.
It’s awfully lonely being popular.
When I’m up, I’m like an oil well, a natural resource to pump, to ask for favors, to warm oneself like a roadside Inn’s hearth, before traveling on.
When I’m down, the phone is quiet. Long hours pass, alone in my mind, alone in my home, alone in my community, alone at brunch, alone every evening.
I reach out, and perhaps it is because everyone is so sure I’m okay or cool or happy that little comes back. And yet I am vulnerable, and open about it, and still, I sit in my aloneness.
Alone is not bad. Broken-hearted is not bad. But it is hard. And it has been like this for a long time, since I started Elephant.
It is, of course, my responsibility to take care of myself. To maintain genuine friendships.
And so I wonder: what’s wrong with me, that I have so few genuine friendships, and yet so many friends?
But perhaps it’s not just me. For all our happy group photos on social media, perhaps the temperature of our days is cold to the touch.
We’re all so busy keeping up with our lives, it seems, that we forget about one another.
Someone, right now, who we care for, is in the hospital.
Someone, right now, who we care for, is broken-hearted.
Someone, right now, who we care for, has fallen into depression.
A New York Times article recently reported that a simple “how are you” text—even if we barely mean it—can make the world of difference to someone struggling.
We are all struggling. Reach out. Mean it.