Loneliness is a funny concept. By definition lonely describes a state of being sad because one has no friends or company. It's an ironic definition because there are moments when you're surrounded by people and still feel incredibly alone.
If this pandemic has taught me anything, it is that people need people. It is impossible for Zoom to replicate the feeling of being in the same room as someone to feel their warmth, bounce off their energy, or smell their cologne.
While the phrase "alone together" should be comforting, it's a constant reminder that right now, we can't be with one another. How do we evolve as a community when we can't look each other in the eye?
In a time of separation it's important to remember the little moments we overlooked when we could be together. A flirtatious graze, a helpful door hold or a compliment made in passing. We need each other to feel alive.
Just as the cliche goes, it only takes one drop to make a ripple. One person creating masks for people who need them, one person honking at a recent 2020 graduate parade, one person making a TikTok that makes people laugh. It only takes one person to demonstrate joy and kindness because like this virus, they're contagious.
Everyone wants to change the world but sometimes the task can seem too daunting. The more you grow, the more you know and the harder it seems to make an impact. If you let yourself think about all the things that need fixing, it feels impossible that one person could save us.
When I would feel discouraged, my mom would always remind me that all it takes is a little compassion to change someone's world, and one someone's world is just as big of an achievement as the whole world. It's all a matter of perspective.
There are over 7 billion people on this planet, each struggling from the effects of COVID-19 in their own way. There is no manual in how to deal with an unprecedented global pandemic. It's okay to have bad days, It's okay to be scared, it's okay to feel alone. You are not defective.
This feeling of loneliness just serves as a reminder of how special the people in your life are. The next time we're all together may look different but what matters is we get to be together. So until our reunion, spread positivity, laughter, and kindness so we can re-enter a happier world.