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Mochatern Monday 04.04.16 : “We can be the opposite of loneliness.”

Happy Monday, Mocha Club!

It has been so long since I have written anything! But, that only means that we are happily busy here, and that there are many projects and plans for projects that need my help and attention. One thing that, I think, is super cool is that Mocha Club now has a Snapchat! It’s really fun to see how managing a social media account works, and how much time and strategic planning goes into it. The only social media accounts I have ever “handled” have been my own, and, well, I’m lucky my friends don’t base my merit on my caption making or editing ability. So, I’ve taken this Snapchat as a learning experience- the opportunity to see the planning, detail, and remembering that goes into the upkeep of an organization’s social media handles.

Follow us on Snapchat: @mochaclub

I recently read a book, or rather a collection of essays, by a writer named Marina Keegan. Marina Keegan was a member of the Yale University Class of 2012, and was an avid creator writer with the hopes of parlaying her abilities in both fiction and nonfiction writing into a career. Unfortunately, Marina was killed in a car accident when she was 22, two days after she graduated from Yale. Upon her death, her parents and some of her teachers gathered together what they found to be Marina’s best and most impactful writing and turned her stories and thoughts into a book. If you haven’t read it, the book is called The Opposite of Loneliness, and it will knock you over with its youthful eloquence and power.

At the book’s beginning, following acknowledgements from members of the Yale faculty, there is an essay that Marina wrote, in the spirit of graduation, for the Yale Daily News. The title of the essay, like the book, is The Opposite of Loneliness, and in it Marina explores, or, rather, voices her fear of leaving the community that she created for herself at Yale which she said felt like the opposite of loneliness. Marina noted that we don’t have a word in the dictionary that means the opposite of loneliness, but that if we did, that’s what we most want in life.

“It’s not quite love, it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of the opposite of loneliness. We create this oppositeness for ourselves everywhere we go. At school. At work. In our families. In our friend groups. We put ourselves in situations with people who know what we’re going through. Who get it. Who we can make eye contact with in the middle of a class lecture and find comfort in a mutual, silent sense of “how are we going to do this?”

I think everyone, whether it is given recognition or not, fights loneliness. Fights the feeling of being alone. Because, no matter how confident we are in ourselves or how capable we may be, nothing we do or have or think means as much unless it is shared. We want someone to laugh with at work with the fax machine breaks or we pull up a funny video on our desktop. We need a friend to come along on our road trips and fight with us about what music to play and whether to leave the windows up or down. We need the parent that has been in our shoes and offer advice, and we need the child that leads us to believe our lives have been fruitful. We need to boy or girl in class that takes our side every now and then in the the discussion. We need people. We want people. We want the opposite of loneliness.

So, I started thinking about how I could connect this train of thought to the Mocha Club, and how I was going to tie this all together. We desire to create for ourselves the opposite of loneliness, right? We desire to bring people into our lives or create communities and group that make us feel the opposite of lonely. However, we can create the opposite of loneliness for other people as well. We can be the opposite of loneliness.

I always tell myself that I should live a more inclusive life. To reach past my immediate friendships and relations and try to let other people in. Our creation of the opposite of loneliness can extend far beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone- where we live, where we work. And, because you are a member of the Mocha Club you have somewhat of an understanding of what it means to offer the opposite of loneliness to people far outside of your immediate realm. You realize that in supporting Mocha Club, you are telling people in Africa- “You are not alone. I am here.” I think we should work to try to spread the opposite of loneliness to anyone we can.

I will leave you with one more excerpt from Marina’s essay (the full text can still be found online at the Yale Daily News):

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that!”

 

Have a great day, and thank you for reading! We appreciate each of you!
Austill

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