I love you all.
Thank you for the time you give
And the attention
And for being happy to see me.
It makes my day sunny, and my footsteps lighter.
I said it would be short.
Today I was lucky enough to see several people I love to be around and talk to, which made my day awesome. I say lucky as I saw of of these wonderful people at Macalester, and all in the small space of the library. Being out of college for almost a year and a half, I had almost forgotten the joy of many face-to-face interactions with friends in only a few hours, and how lucky I was to live in such an environment for four years. Lucky that I met interesting people, and that they found me interesting enough to (at least seem to) enjoy my company. Macalester is a crucible of social interaction, and I think it is fair to say that if Mac had a Talking to People in the Library major I would have done quite well.
In the time since college I have become more reclusive, much less likely to seek out friends and social events. I rarely go places on weekends, and I hardly ever see friends outside the immediate circle which has become my default post-college group (though this group was not necessarily populated with many or any of my closest friends at Mac). I have become, through my inaction, rather cut off from most of my closest friends in college. To be whiny-er, I feel much less influencial and popular without this interaction. Like a low-level politician I feel more comfortable and confident in personal greetings and meetings than through textual communication in social media (which is also a function of how I use it). With social media I have a false sense of connection, since I can keep in touch with peoples's lives without actually garnering their attention.
In conjuction with this, since graduating I have noticed that:
My stress levels are nearly non-existent most of the time.
My average level of happiness, while still fine, is much lower, and I have almost no peaks of happiness.
I attribute the first to the obvious lack of constant homework, and the second to the severe lack of social interaction, or perhaps even the abscense of constant interaction. Even as I can recognize this serious deficiency in my life I have not as of yet moved to improve my situation. I do fear that many of the friends I made in college were friends of proximity, and now that we are no longer forced to occupy the same spaces have no particular desire to prep the firewood to rekindle the friendship. For people that were not close friends that is of course understandable, but I fear learning that friends I spent a lot of time with and respect and admire have moved on. If you, friends out there, have moved on from me then I will surely miss you, but I am glad you have more measure of your social circles than I do.
I have had a sheltered life, and so potentially exposing myself to emotional hurt is something I have hitherto leaned away from. In this situation I must see it as an area of growth, a challenge to be tackled. A way to reconnect with the souls sailing out beyond the fog my not-yet-shipwrecked post-college life lists in. A problem to solve so I will stop whining about it on the Internet.
If you are someone I talked to a lot, or a fair amount, or that one time during freshman orientation and never again except for the occasional head nod between classes, I'd love to hear from you! Please post a comment here, or track me down on Facebook or Twitter.
And I will not simply be doing a Dursley, sitting on the couch waiting for the letters to flood in through the skylights. Over the next few weeks I will be contacting many friends through email, Facebook, texts, the occasional random call and Snapchat. Even if I don't manage to get in contact with you for whatever reason, please know that I love you, and that I thank you dearly for the love and friendship you have given me.
And of course thank you to those who continue to pester me into socializing like a human. Really, I do appreciate it.