I've been thinking a lot about loneliness lately. Partially because I feel kinda lonely living in Frisco, away from most of my friends and family in the East Bay, partially because St. Valentine's Day is coming up, that annual commercialized love-fest where people who are not happily (or unhappily) coupled are often made to feel as if they have some horrid congenital defect.
I've been noticing and thinking a lot lately that many people in this world (coupled or not) are lonely. You can see it on their faces on BART or the bus, you can read it in their blogs, you can sense how people hide their loneliness behind the thin veneer of their fascination with pop culture entertainment or fashion or any other potentially distracting habit. It saddens me that so many people are lonely--especially in a city like San Francisco, which is so densely packed that often I feel like a tiny ant crammed into the claustrophia-inducing spaces of the city's elevators or public transit systems--at the same time that I know that loneliness is just one condition of human existence. And that loneliness, too, will pass. At least for most people.
This year, I've decided to send love-notes out to my friends (coupled or not), in addition to celebrating V-day with my sweetie. If Valentine's Day is supposed to be about love, then why don't we also acknowledge, honor and celebrate the people we love non-romantically? What happened to the cute little ritual that we carried out in grammar school, where we gave cheesy, store-bought Valentines cards to all of our classmates? I think that should continue way past the 5th grade. Love for your fellow human beings doesn't end when you hit puberty--or does it?
Something to think about,