Some around me think I use the word a little too nonchalantly. My friends, acquaintances, and even strangers have been on the receiving end of my endless "love yous" that sometimes slip out before I even realise it.
Most of them return the affection, expressing their love their own way. That exchange fills
each of us me [can't really speak for others] with reassurance, and a calming sense of warmth floods my body.
The others that don't participate in this ritual often remind me that this is a fairly recent phenomenon, an invention of a generation of coddled and insecure kids. I can't say for certain that this isn't the case, because neither them nor I are omniscient beings, knowing the true purpose behind every action and reaction.
Though maybe they do participate, in their own language.
Treating a friend to a dinner, spending time with them, or even buying gifts. These are all different ways that friends have used to express their appreciation and/or love, even if they don't say it out loud.
Appreciation, to me, is like an infinite game of hot potato between two people. Friends expressing love to other friends who express their appreciation and love back. Again and again, back and forth forever. In an ideal relationship, no one begs to be appreciated, instead there would just be too much appreciation to go around, everyone drowns in love.
Then there is your career.
What kind of relationship does a person have with their job? How does one have a relationship with an abstract concept such as a "company"?
My imagination conceptualises this as having a relationship with one of those Jaegers from the movie Pacific Rim (or the Teselecta from Doctor Who, but that would be far too specific a reference I fear), where a single entity is controlled by multiple people.
So you as an employee would have a relationship with the company, and the company's actions are controlled by some other people you don't really care for (let's call them HR).
But this is a weird relationship. It feels like a botched arranged marriage. You don't actually want to care for the company, you're just obliged to so you can afford the luxury of non-homelessness. Neither does the company really want to show any appreciation to you, because there's really only one love language a company has; monetary compensation. We all know how tightly those purse strings are held.
You don't get any love. You do your job and you go home. If you want something more, you're expected to beg, beg to feel a sense of welcome, a meagre sense of appreciation, a reason to feel something.