So something tells me that I’ve been online for far too long. Spending vast amounts of time sitting at my desk at work entering names and addresses into data bases or searching the internet for airline policies regarding underage kids and so on. Spending far too much time at my computer at home proofreading obscure, academic articles on an even more obscure era of Japanese Esoteric Buddhist History. My eyes hurt. And my lousy posture, hunched over my desk like a gargoyle, makes my back hurt. I look up periodically to notice that the sun is breaking through the fog. Sun breaking through fog in late September, early October, can mean only one thing: that summer is over and autumn has officially arrived. And for some reason, I feel down, I feel isolated, I feel alone.

On the one hand I blame too much time online. On the other, I blame the sudden change in the weather. It must be these things, I tell myself, because I have a vast amount of empirical evidence to the contrary that I am neither alone nor isolated. That I’ve got a good amount of friends, people who care about me, people I interact with on a daily basis. But still, I can not shake this feeling.

I can list about a half dozen other people who are feeling the same way right now. Among us, there are feelings of inadequacy, of loneliness, of disconnect from even the people we’ve always felt close to.

There is something oddly comforting about this general feeling of isolation out there in the world. Well, at once comforting and frustrating. It’s comforting because it leads me to believe that the reason for this feeling is something larger than any one person’s personal psychology. But that’s frustrating because if we’re all feeling the same way then we must have a way to connect with each other which would ultimately end this feeling of disconnect. For whatever reasons, we all feel the need to be alone, to lean into it, to be introspective. I have to believe that this is a good thing. I have to believe that in the end we’ll come out of it stronger, healthier, more self-assured.

Emotional states are, just like everything else, temporary. And, just like anything else, moments to learn and grow.