Just a few days before graduating from Yale University in May, Marina Keegan, a brilliant and gifted writer, wrote an essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness”. Just a few days later, her beautiful life was cut short in an accident. Her essay, read by millions, has touched the hearts and minds of readers around the world, including me.
“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness,
but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life”.
Speaking to her fellow graduates about their shared experience, Keegan articulates a deep wish we may all have about a home we’d love to find which is “the opposite of loneliness”. And though, as human beings, we may all share this dream, (some more than others, I am sure), Keegan expressed it for us in words that resonate with truth and reach deep into our souls. Though built upon thoughts and memories of a 22-year-old college senior, Keegan’s words are universal and touch on something most of us long for throughout our lives.
In sharing her passionate thoughts and memories of her years at Yale, she tells us what “the opposite of loneliness” looks like and feels like. She inspires us with ideas about how to find and even create “the opposite of loneliness”. She gives us hope that we can all have this elusive life element we seem to long for so deeply.
During the past few weeks, I have thought a lot about Keegan’s essay. And, I believe that perhaps the “opposite of loneliness” is belonging – belonging to someone in love, or a family or a group with whom you share a common view. I think it’s feeling you have when you’re accepted, welcome, and cared for. I also believe that one can possess “the opposite of loneliness” by offering all of these
heart-essentials to others. I think you can achieve the opposite of loneliness by giving and sharing, by embracing your dreams and not letting them go, and encouraging the same for others.
With this post, it is my hope to honor Marina Keegan, her unforgettable essay and the gift of her words and spirit she brought to this earth for such a short time. The link to her essay is listed below.