There’s a line in “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace that I used to return to often. It reads, “You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” It helps a lot when I get stuck in my head about what others think of me. But I’ve learned that it is generally ill advised to accept wisdom from a man who killed himself when you are desperately trying to keep yourself alive. I have also learned that it is remarkably untrue.
People think of you often. They think of you fondly. They think the world of you. There are office managers and baristsas that think about you. There are Facebook friends you haven’t seen in 15 years and weirdos in your building that think about you. There are dentists and high school lab partners that think about you. They would be devastated to hear the news of your death. They would mourn you. They are people that would be uncomfortable ever telling you how highly or how often they thought of you and vice versa because we live in a world that eschews intimacy and affection in favor of the allegedly “comfortable” distance we choose to keep that is actually making a large portion of the population feel cripplingly lonely.