In one of our usual existential conversations, a friend of mine said to me, “I feel like I am always waiting for something. But I don’t know what it is.” While I told her that I could relate it got me thinking about what this feeling actually is. After a bit of pondering, I arrived at a probable answer. Longing. A melancholic descend into nothingness. You feel it in the oddest of places. In a room full of people. During a long car ride. In the middle of the aisle in a grocery store. You feel something is missing. But what?
It’s like in the movies when they show the subject’s point of view in slow motion. He looks at things around him, people talking and laughing but a soundtrack plays over what they’re saying. So the subject feels disconnected. But even in this moment of disconnection, you feel aware, of your self and your presence.
Longing can make you feel a void even in the moments of extreme happiness. As if you’re not whole. It leaves you feeling unfulfilled; like you should be doing more. It urges you to take action. To fill the void.
Perhaps longing is a special state of consciousness. Or it is a way to continue man’s quest for more. Maybe longing is a necessity for the evolution of self. Of the mankind. It’s a fact that great art, great inventions and great movements come from a place of lacking. A realization that what is, is not enough.
So maybe the connotations need to change. Maybe longing isn’t so bad a state and the void isn’t as scary a place as we imagine. No matter how uncomfortable they make us feel, let’s learn to embrace them. To draw energies from them. For they keep us moving. They dispense stagnation. For we long, therefore we are.