As a grad student, I’ve spent so much time hunkered down, focused on school and studies and working towards graduation, that I’ve become pretty isolated. I started this blog to help me get out of my shell – and to start writing and having conversations about life from my perspective and what’s going on this amazing city (Atlanta.) What’s happened instead is that I’ve continued to dig deeper into my isolated life of school, study, school, some blogging – and then rinse and repeat every day.
I woke up this morning feeling pretty disconnected and, quite honestly, pretty lonely. And what I realized is that it’s all due to a lack of connection. I’m so head-down and focused that I haven’t taken the time to see and connect with the people around me. That got me thinking about the fact that if I’m feeling so disconnected, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’m not alone. Maybe all the unhappiness, drug abuse, alcoholism and violence in our country (world?) all comes down to an underlying lack of connection? And maybe all these “social diseases” are the result of disconnection?
Everyone craves those interactions and relationships that give us something to smile about. Those are the things that help get us out of bed every morning, right? We all have a need to belong somewhere, to feel appreciated and wanted, to feel worthy and worthwhile. We all want to make a difference. When we don’t have those meaningful connections, maybe that’s when we try to numb our pain with the unhealthy solutions—working too much, obsessively studying, working out for hours and hours each day, taking drugs, overeating, drinking, etc. When we don’t have meaningful connections and don’t have healthy coping strategies, maybe that’s when we go off the rails. The irony is that those unhealthy behaviors just deepen our disconnection.
I won’t pretend to have the answers. In fact, I KNOW I don’t have the answers. I’m just as blind as anyone else when it comes to friendships and connections and any kind of emotional intimacy. What I DO know is that I have to find a way to become more connected to the world—and the people—around me. I have to find a way to have more meaning in my life – something to look forward to, something to care about, something that instills a sense of purpose in my heart. Something that makes me want to get out of bed each morning. So here I go … I’ll share my journey along the way, and maybe you’ll even feel inspired to do the same. All I know is I don’t want to wake up every morning asking, “Is this all there is?” I want to wake up every morning exclaiming, “Woohoo! Here we go!”