I had a friend in college who always used to say “No man is an island.” I mean, he said it all the time. We used to make fun of him because he said it so much.
But even back then, we knew he was right. We knew that if we had to go through our college years alone, we would be miserable. We would probably drop out of college and move in to our favorite cardboard box.
There was no way we could do life without each other.
And then we grew up. My friends moved away. I started to believe that I didn’t need people. And the next thing you know, I am a 500-pound alcoholic living a miserable, lonely life.
What happened is I moved to that island. Maybe not physically, but I moved there in my mind. After getting hurt once or twice, I decided I didn’t like that too much. I decided I was going to live with as little human interaction as possible. I mean, people were the problem, right?
If I just keep people away, I can focus on me. I can do whatever I need to do to be happy. I won’t get distracted by other people’s agendas. I can just focus on myself. That is what I thought my solution was. But I was wrong.
It turns out people weren’t the problem. They were actually the solution.
All this life of isolation brought me was extreme misery, depression and loneliness. It seems so obvious now, but I really couldn’t understand why I was so sad. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do to be happy.
I needed people. I needed people bad. And once I realized this, I started taking drastic actions. The first thing I did, and probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself, was I got a job at Applebee’s.
Now, this may not seem like the dream job, and for sure, it wasn’t, but what it was was a chance for me to meet people. Not only meet people, but bond with them.
If you have every worked in the service industry, you know it is hard work. And you are in the trenches with your fellow “Applebuddy’s” every day. There is a strong bond that is created with that.
And even though I quit that job years ago, I am still friends with a lot of those people to this day. That says a lot to me.
It says that I needed these people. And maybe they needed me too. We were all so hungry for connection and we found it at America’s favorite grill and bar.
If you are feeling isolated or depressed, I would challenge you to look at your community. Are you involved with others? Are you calling friends regularly? Are you going to neighborhood events? Are you talking to people at church after the service?
There are so many things we can do to bring people into our lives. I promise, your new friends are out there just waiting for you to say “hi.” That one simple word can change your life. It for sure changed mine.
And if all else fails, I know Applebee’s is always hiring.
The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records