The reason I am writing this is to shed light on something I have noticed happening more and more often. I would like to take the opportunity of Valentine’s Day being just around the corner to bring this forth. To be clear, I believe interactions people share nowadays are forced and vapid. How can we celebrate, or even give energy to a day that is used to make money off of people for the sake of love? I believe its meaning has been somewhat forgotten. From what I’ve witnessed, connections between many people are not only temporary, but entirely circumstantial. You don’t actually like someone, or them you, you just happen to sit together for the sake of not appearing alone. I bring this up as I feel we are not having this conversation.

How many of us have lost the ability to care about something or be present anywhere where you are not specifically obligated to be? I do not wish to appear nihilistic, simply taking in what I have come to notice, maybe start a conversation about this. While it is normal to prioritize oneself first and one’s family, how can we go on attending university, our jobs, any kind of gathering with this level of superficiality and these surface-level interactions? How can we live our lives to the fullest when a good majority of the people we meet are just passing figures? Do we even do, or say what we really want? Or are we just performing for the sake of keeping up a façade? In this dark, and cold world why have we stopped feeling? Or show passion towards something? When will we start thinking I want to be here, vs. I have to be here? Are we really satisfied with ourselves and how we interact with one another? Are people really okay with the never-ending banality of how we spend our days? Or am I the only one who sees this? I’ll admit, I have fallen into this rhythm of life as well, and spend my days seeking escape from reality in the world of old, romantic novels, being constantly disappointed with reality. What is your escape?

While I am still trying to figure out the answers to the aforementioned questions, I hope to have at the very least planted a seed in even one person’s mind. Let’s start thinking about this, and let’s start to feel again. Let’s start encouraging authenticity, not only with what we do and say, but how we feel. Going forward, I would like to start listening, really listening to people’s stories, and hope that we can all do the same. On a different note, can we start talking about love? is romance dead? I would like to learn about real-life stories; if anyone wishes to reach out to me please do, I want to feel inspired again. I will leave you now, with this generic reply when I ask anyone what they are doing for Valentine’s Day: “I’m just going to wait for the day after, when all the chocolate goes on sale”.

(Originally published February 5, 2020)

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