On Loneliness and Being Emotional

It could be age, getting older and less attached to things, but I’ve had trouble getting emotional about stuff lately. Not that I am not emotional at all, just that I’m not as emotional as I once was. Things don’t feel so drastic all the time, and yet these are very drastic times.

There was a period, a period I look upon fondly, when I felt as if everything touched me so deeply, where I felt a special kind of connection to the world and everything in it. It was purely imagined, this connection, but it felt real.

I think it was the loneliness talking then, because I was terribly alone, and so every little thing, whether it was a song or a movie or even a sunset, it really spoke to me. It spoke to me because no actual person was speaking to me, and when other voices aren’t heard, when there is no expression of emotion from another sentient being, the only thing left to hear from is what you’re surrounded with.

So, whether a bird in the sky or a wind blowing against a mountaintop, I felt as if those things existed just for me.

Really clearly, I can remember standing on the edge of a mountain in the Angeles National Forest, listening to an eastern wind blow, feeling it on my face, looking out at the city in front of me, below me, the fog hanging lowly in the air, the sun, beating down against my pink skin, the ground, crunching beneath my feet.

I had no clear purpose then, no real idea who I was, where I was going, and yet standing there, I felt so connected to everything; so rooted, so aware of myself, what I was doing, my place not in the universe, but at least the very space I occupied in that moment.

I often think: I’d like to feel that again, to be that lost and that found, to be confused in that way, but also to feel as if I have everything figured out too. I certainly don’t feel that way these days, in a way, it’s reminiscent of another time in my life, my early to mid 20’s, when the loneliness was not that great, and I felt a part of this world.

I could not write then, not really at least, because I was too in the thick of things, too much a part of humanity.

It was only when I left, that’s when the words came.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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