Have you lost your emotional depth over the years?
I have. I look back on how empathetic and perceptive I was back as an adolescent. Not anymore. It’s just work talk, sharing memes, and following up with people from another city. Has the world made me more apathetic over the years? Or did I do it unwittingly?
I don’t know what’s going with my friends, my family, and it doesn’t bother me either. Fuck it. Fine. I’ll admit it. It bothers me a lot. I used to have the best first conversations on text before, I don’t anymore.
The unbecoming of a great texter
I’m a HORRIBLE texter. I even struggle with replying to emails on time. After typing away on my semi-functional keyboard all day, doing it again over a 5 inch screen is a nightmare.
4-hour calls? I’m game. Sign me the hell up.
3 follow-up texts? Nope. *Uninstalls WhatsApp immediately*
But, it didn’t happen over night.
I had a thriving life before COVID. Not a worry in the world. I didn’t know what responsibilities were. Day drinking on a Tuesday? I’m your guy. A concert on the same night? Let’s go. Exploring a new bistro on the other side of town? See you in 2 hours.
As you’ll notice, all of it happened offline. WhatsApp merely became an event management tool. Everyone that I spoke to, I did in person. I think that’s when the decline began. Because I was still in touch with EVERYONE, I never noticed it.
COVID and emotional drain
COVID hit me like the a truck. It displaced my entire life. I had nothing going on the career front. No clarity. No vision. No ambition. What did I do? I slept a LOT (with a copious side serving of Ludo King, Among Us, and Batman)
The entire world was falling sick around me, left, right, and center. I even lost some people close to me. I don’t think I ever quite processed it until 2021, when shit actually hit me.
Everyone around me was suddenly thriving, getting into great things, building cool projects and there I was. A complete, utter, depressed, failure. That’s when I embraced the deep end to completely focus on work.
When I started working, texting became a lot more than just texting. It became a chore. It became a communication skill. Ugh. Between all the “Hey, how are you?”s and the “I’ll send it positively by EOD,” things changed all of a sudden.
Skip to now
Now that the charm of overworking has worn off, I’m slowly learning things about myself. I sacrificed a lot of things in the last year, maybe more than what I should have. I’m slowly taking inventory of everything else that fell apart.
This is my attempt at acknowledging what I left behind, and reclaiming it, one small text at a time.