Our world is a wonderful, breathtaking, mysterious place.
Yet we live most of our life in our own head.
Our inner world.
Our inner world is personal, it’s completely unique to each one of us.
We all view reality through different eyes.
I think there is something unspeakably lonely about that.
All of us stuck in our heads. Trapped in our own inner worlds.
Never truly being able to show you what I see.
Loneliness is universal.
We want somewhere to belong.
More than anything, we simply crave reassurance that we’re not the only ones who feel that way.
It’s a feeling deep down that there’s more than this.
A homesickness for where we truly belong.
A sense that we are apart of something bigger.
A longing to find out what it is.
The antidote to this homesickness is human connection.
Stepping outside our own world and into a shared one.
Reminding each other of that “something bigger” we all feel apart of.
It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture.
Connection is powerful regardless of how deep the interaction.
Smiling at a stranger.
Learning (and remembering) someones name.
Taking a photo for a couple attempting a selfie.
Sending someone a song that reminded you of them.
Listening to the backstory of your uber driver.
Asking your dad about his dad.
Discussing Vanderpump Rules dynamics with friends you met online.
Simple moments of sharing life with others will, over time, lead to a profound impact on who we are.
I saw this firsthand, 4 years ago when I launched my business.
Our first product was a white tee shirt that read,
I LOVE YOU SAY IT BACK
It was a phrase that caught my attention one night while texting my boyfriend.
I thought it was catchy, relatable and a perfect place to start.
But I couldn’t predict the ripple effects that simple sentence would produce.
The first time I wore the shirt, I was running through an airport to catch a flight.
All of the sudden, I heard a big booming voice coming from a security guard.
“HEY!” he shouted.
My heart sank. I turned to face him, nervous, shocked, and confused at what I had done wrong.
But instead of reprimanding me, he broke out into a smile.
“I said I love you!”
It took me a second to realize he was engaging with me as a response to my shirt.
He was saying it back.
When it clicked, my insides errupted in butterflies.
It was a simple interaction, one I doubt this man remembers.
But I do. I’ll never forget.
I’ll never forget how that made me feel.
How my mood shifted.
How my mind kept replaying the scene.
How deeply I knew in the moment that this was more than a plain white tee shirt.
It was a conversation starter.
An invitation to connect.
It was something bigger.
Last week, I was at the airport again.
Going through security, I placed my “Text Me When You Get Lonely” hoodie into a bin.
The TSA agent looked at me and said,
“Well, I can’t text you if I don’t have your number!”
I laughed at the joke I’d heard a hundred times before and continued organizing my belongings.
“The girls always give me a funny look when I use that joke.” he added.
“But I’m like, hey! It’s on your shirt I’m just reading it!”
First of all, yeah buddy, I’m sure they’re creeped out.
But second of all - what?
“Oh, have you seen this sweatshirt before?” I asked.
My entire world stopped.
It was impossible for me to wrap my head around.
Four years ago, I was running through the airport wearing the first product we had ever made.
Here I was now, learning that our hoodies had become an airport staple.
So much so, that our phrases were an inside joke among TSA.
I fixated on these two airport interactions, four years apart.
An airport - what a mind blowing place of connection.
Momentarily crossing paths with people from all over the world.
I thought about all of the messages I’ve received from people who have had experiences wearing Lonely Ghost to the airport.
Heartwarming conversations, hilarious reactions, a sweet passing moment, a great story to tell.
Not everyone engages in these interactive phrases, and maybe the ones who do won’t even remember the next day.
But human connection is powerful.
It eases the pain of our inherent loneliness.
Even just for a second.
It’s hard to talk about being lonely.
It’s viewed as vulnerable, weak, needy.
I think some people just don’t feel like they belong.
I think that’s why we have to talk about it.
Admitting we are lonely is a vulnerable declaration
But in that bravery, we find our people.
This is the story behind our latest collection,
Ask Me Why I’m Lonely
I wanted to add another conversation starter to our lineup.
But I wanted this one to facilitate true, deep connection.
I wanted this one to reference our brand as a whole.
The vision I have, the message I am passionate about sharing.
To wear a shirt, a hat, really anything that says,
“Ask Me Why I’m Lonely”
Is an invitation for vulnerable conversation.
A moment at the airport you might think about forever.
Loneliness is an ache that comes with the human experience.
But the beautiful irony is that we all feel it.
We are unified in our yearning.
We cry out for comfort
and the sounds echo.
Through the reverberations, we are soothed.
It is a strange relief to realize our loneliness is not rare.
It’s nice to remember that none of us are actually alone in our loneliness, but connected by it.