CONFESSIONS OF AN INTROVERT
A year ago, when Covid restrictions placed a limitation on my social interactions, it initially felt like a hardship to endure. However, I vowed to do the best I could to adjust to the changes imposed upon me. I coached myself to use my solitude well. I deep-cleaned, reorganized, and redecorated my home, making it a more pleasant place in which to experience my time alone. In lieu of going to the gym, I developed an exercise routine I could do at home. I took solitary walks in nature. I deepened my meditation practice, which helped me manage stress and loneliness. I learned that I could live happily without engaging in many activities that I thought were essential to my wellbeing.
Soon, I became engulfed in my own little bubble. I came to accept it. And then, I came to love it.
My conversations with others dwindled. I abandoned social media. I immersed myself in the novel I am currently writing. I got to the point where I hardly wanted the outside world to impinge upon me in any way.
When I recently ventured out to get my two doses of the Covid vaccine, the noise and chaos of the outer world startled me. The milling crowds unnerved me. “Is this the way the world really is?” I asked myself. “If so, I don’t want to go back out there.”
I know that I must emerge from my bubble, and that I will. I don’t yet know what my transition back into the outer world will look like. I doubt that my life will be the same as it was prior to the pandemic. But I am sure of this: while I will seek meaningful social interactions, I will no longer waste my time in activities that stress or annoy me. And I will never forget the joys of a solitude that was initially imposed, and later, cherished.