“Women, they have minds and they have souls, as well as just hearts, and they’ve got ambition and they’ve got talent, as well as beauty, and I’m so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it!
But I’m so lonely.”
It was Saoirse Ronan delivering these lines as Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s recent adaptation of Little Women that had me hiding my tear-stained face behind the safety of my movie theater buttered popcorn. Honestly tears were a theme throughout the entire film, but that particular scene unleashed something within me.
Because, reader, I am lonely, and something tells me that you are too.
Despite being one of the most connected generations, millennials are also the loneliest. Who knew that behind the constant stream of meme sharing and group chats and Instagram DMs, we feel isolated, longing for deeper connections- both platonic and romantic?
It’s a conundrum, being in this place of constant surface level connection but severely lacking in the personal, real life connection department. How did we let it get this way? I could take the easy route by sounding like a Boomer on a rant and say it’s all social media’s fault, but I think there’s more to it than that.
We’ve lost the art of conversation, and it’s scaring us, this realization that we have no idea what we’re doing.
At twenty five I’m terrified I’m not “adult” enough, and if I was would I know enough to navigate it well? When we get scared, we hide, and that’s what we’ve done. We know we’re lonely, yet we can’t get out of our own head enough to do anything about it.
At least I can’t.
The thing is, I shouldn’t be lonely. I have friends- in fact some of the greatest- and so I tell myself that can’t possibly mean I’m still lonely. But the more I think, the more I wonder if it doesn’t matter if you’re not alone. You can be alone without feeling lonely, and you can feel lonely without being alone.
But what’s the missing link?
That, I wish I knew. Instead, I feel I’m constantly teetering on the edge of loneliness, aching for connections but not knowing how to make them. Yet somehow knowing everyone else seems to feel the same makes me feel all the less alone.