In her latest column journalist Paulina Czienskowski reflects on the need to find kindred spirits
Just recently it happened again: I was on vacation and all of a sudden I was struck by feelings of loneliness. Almost an embarrassment to suffer like that between pool and palm trees. I had to shake my head on behalf of myself and my insecurities, worrying about all kinds of things, time and again.
I wanted that feeling to go away. After all, I should be grateful for the timeout. The feeling vanished for a moment, but then it came back again: a strange sense of loneliness creeping its way up into the top of my head.
Lonely?, my companion asked in astonishment. Yet she was right, why did it come to the surface now, of all times? And as I pondered, a friend of mine wrote me after a long-time hiatus, because the wifi connection had been disastrous while traveling. We exchanged how we were, our general mood and how we felt. This unexpected digital form of making contact was a relief. A relief from what, though?
No, no, no, I thought to myself. It’s unacceptable for me to be happy only when there’s a functioning wifi connection. Then I reasoned: It seemed to be about much more than a steady mobile connection, that came in handy at that moment, right?
It was a warm, pleasant feeling of unity, I felt rising. As my friend was also on vacation, and she felt lonely as well. Thus, there was a sudden solidarity in our solitude. I no longer felt alone. Although 6000 kilometers separated us, we were mentally attached.
Later I remembered my school years and the corresponding luxury to see my friends almost every day. The clique. The only good thing about school, as I had thought back then. And it was quite similar at the university, although one began then, to get acquainted to a much looser environment.
When working, especially as a freelancer, one is confronted with the situation to create your very own circle. You are somewhere in between solitude and socializing – longing for creatives with similar interests, more contacts, lots of mutual inspiration so we could have conversations that are both deeply profound and fun. People who understand you. Because in life we all need some sort of kinship.
The desire for kindred spirits is ambivalent, it has positive and negative variants and at the moment both sides become evident. The rise of populists in Europe and the US present one side, the dreadful one. The Kardashians are on the other side. Ha ha. No, in all seriousness: You may dislike them, however, they have one essential quality, which is: solidarity!
For all those without the (in)famous surname there are regular’s tables, various groups and soirées. This is where women from the FinTech sector meet. And so do journalists and all kinds of people who want to engage in politics. There you’ll find all those who hope, that it is possible to attach one’s own little universe onto other little universes.
We all want to raise to a higher power – increase our strength, our thoughts and our actions as well. Kinship heals the soul; it soothes us and helps in overcoming insecurities. A community stands for a social framework, where people know each other. Whether it’s about family, friends or work – at the core there is a team spirit. Not just “me”. We prefer saying “we” for once.
People are brought together by common features. The very word “community” says it already. Hans Fallada saw it similarly, even if he was slightly worried: “Because that’s how people are: a common fear brings them together rather than a common love.” In spite of everything we stay optimistic and believe in the good: Let’s hug each other.
Read more about finding like-minded people and being in a girl gang in AnOther Magazine here.