Hey, people! I love you. Not in a restraining order kind of way, just a love kind of way.
I have been attending an exercise class called Body Pump for three years now. This is ostensibly what it looks like:
Except when I do it, at the Edmond YMCA, it does not look like this. For one thing, we stay indoors and a terrifying hellscape of burning sky does not threaten us as we pump (seriously, wtf?). Sometimes on rainy days the roof does leak a bit, but we just place a trashcan under the drip and it's not scary at all. Also, the people do not, in general, look like those people. Some look more like this than others, of course; it's a challenging class and we have some pretty fit folk in there. Overall, though? We're a cross section of people, of different ages and shapes and abilities, and it's cool. It's really so cool. Tonight during class, as I looked in the giant mirror at a room full of people lifting weights with all their different expressions--some concentrating really hard, others bobbing our heads to the music, or laughing aloud at how hard it is to do another biceps curl when you've already done more than you thought you could do--I felt that love well up in me as it does at weird unpredictable times like this, and I was transported by affection for everybody. I mean, look at them! Look at us! We're fucking awesome!
Endorphin high? Maybe. I don't know. Who cares?
People with no religious beliefs are asked regularly by religious people: "How do you live without believing in anything?" Or sometimes, "But what do you believe in?" This is the answer. It's really very simple: I believe in you. I know you're like, oh, shut up, Cheesy McCheeseball, but I swear it's true. I don't need a supernatural entity to believe in, because I have you. And you're beautiful and I love you.