I find, on the whole, that I am emotionally disconnected from most people.
I am not sure where this really started. I am not even sure that things were always this way. I want to believe that I used to be more connected at the emotional level with people. But I find that I am not.
How did I get here? That is pretty easily enough understood, at least in retrospect. I - and perhaps everyone - has a tendency to shut down when either one's dreams are mocked or one's efforts are ignored. I would argue that one of the most emotionally painful incidents of all is to bare one's heart, one's true inner self - and have it laughed at or mocked or worst of all acted upon as if it never existed.
Our current social climate has helped precisely nothing, of course. We have made an entire of industry of surface appearances, of ensuring that any sharing beyond a very basic level will result in mockery, attacks, or just plain shunning. 140 characters and fancy memes have overtaken our ability to share - let alone frame - our deepest emotions.
And what does this leave? A wasteland. A vague sense that everything is not as it should be. An insulating effect between us and almost everyone around us. The dull monotones of unchallenged conversations, the quiet sighs as the standard questions are asked and answered, the occasional flickers of deeper longings that stab us when we see an example of the emotional connection that we only wish we could have.
Can one find their way back? This is the question that nags at me as I consider my life. There are occasional - oh so rare - moments when we find someone that the communication goes beyond the short give and take of modern communications. To those people we latch on, as a mussel to the rock on which it has been cast to prevent the continued battering of the waves. But these seem few and far between and really only represent pin-pricks of light, stars in otherwise midnight sky.
It is not, I suppose, that we intended to end up this way. It is just that ultimately survival, the ability to function, becomes far more important than our willingness to endure the pain of continually reaching outside our inner emotions only to feel their fragile tendrils wilt in the heat of others' social superiority and public posturing.
Quiet waters, they say, run deep. Perhaps the more modern application is that deep waters all eventually run underground.