First, know you’re not alone.
The world is massive, and there’s no denying that. But know that, even though there are millions of people in this world, you are connected to some of them. You were sifted from the dust that is situated around you and ignited from the flames of love, just like everyone else. You may think that you don’t know many people, but you are so connected to everyone you pass on the streets without realizing it.
So if you feel alone, explore.
And no, you don’t need to explore as expansively like Instagram travel accounts tell you to. Maybe that’s not your style. Maybe you like to be an introvert, and that’s ok. But you still need to explore because you will only feel as small as the space you keep yourself in. If the space you hide in is as large as your bedroom, then you need to explore.
Take weekend trips. You don’t have to go far. You can go 100 miles just to see something new. Take evening excursions. Sleep under the stars. That’s an excursion. Swim in the lakes at night. That’s an excursion. Even if you do it alone, the earth will start to seem a little less like a stranger.
If you still feel alone in this world, contact your friends. Maybe you already have. That’s ok. Contact those people who you aren’t really close with. They might think you are a little weird, but everyone’s a little weird. That’s what makes life interesting.
The more contact you make, the more you will push yourself to converse more, because when you start to feel alone, you’ve kept too much to yourself. Life is meant to be shared, it’s not meant to be kept secret. You were made from the same shared particles as everyone else around you, so why would you ever keep all of you to yourself? You have something to offer other people, even if you don’t believe it.
If you still feel alone, make an uncomfortable change. Maybe it’s time to leave your job or move or just eat different foods. Do something that makes you cringe, makes you nervous, makes you rethink everything you ever knew. When you do this, you’ll have to find support in yourself and support in others to guide you. Change brings people closer, not farther, because it forces us to learn how to adapt. If you’ve become too comfortable, then you’re not expanding your mind. Take time to do something different.
If you still feel alone, do something for a stranger. If you’re shopping, buy a gift card and leave it for the next person in line. If you’re near a post office, buy stamps and send cards to your friends. If you’re at dinner, buy a meal for someone who looks lonely, too. Don’t expect anything in return, but do it because someone else will feel a little less alone. Maybe that’s all we need to be closer to each other.
So when the world feels too small, make it a little closer for you. The more you reach out to others, the closer every other country, state, city, and stranger start to feel.
And suddenly, the whole world starts to feel one giant home.
You have to remember, everyone is a stranger until we introduces ourselves, so don’t be afraid to make yourself known.
This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here.