Marina Keegan was an amazing woman, with an incredible voice. A few years ago, an essay she’d written entitled “The Opposite of Loneliness” went viral online, (literally it was popping up on the feed of each social media outlet I had.) Appropriately so, because upon reading it you’ll realize just how relatable the content is. You don’t have to be a recent college graduate to identify with concepts of nostalgia, the excitement and anxiety being on the verge of transition, the overwhelming sense of possibility. Keegan had a gift, a craft, a sense of wisdom that seemed to stretch beyond her short years on this earth. The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of her stories – fiction and non-fiction. (Her mentors, friends, and parents worked hard to organize this posthumous publication.) The introduction alone captures Keegan’s youthful spirit and astonishing drive. Each story written in such a compelling manner that I devoured them in the span of 24 hours. Themes of optimism, relentless hope to strive for a future of worth with dedication to acts that mattered, and persistence all echo throughout each work. Keegan died tragically in a car accident, shortly after graduation from Yale. She had a promising future ahead of her, but she still created such a solid legacy. It can be eerie at times while reading, realizing how deeply she delved into ideas of purpose and death when she had no idea what was ahead of her. But none of us do, and we forge on anyway. She was self-aware, she found a way to encapsulate a modern twist to a timeless practice, and she injected emotion, reality, and energy in every word. Keegan’s voice is a shining reminder of why it’s important to find an honest passion in this life, and throw our all into pursuing it. The Opposite of Loneliness is one of my favorite reads in years, I found myself inspired and encouraged by Marina Keegan’s words. If you haven’t experienced the journey of reading it yet, what are you waiting for?
(Photo from my personal Instagram.)