For many of us quarantine was and is an extremely difficult and lonely time. It comes with isolation (obviously, that is the point), lack of social time, being crammed into a room or apartment, stuck with family, etc. etc. It meant sectioning ourselves away from the world we loved to be in and that, continues to bare down on us. But for me, it was a saving grace. I know, crazy right? Who would want to be stuck in their home day and night, with limited interaction with people? Introverts. That’s who, but also me. I pride myself on being an ambivert, wanting to simultaneously be with people and away from them, but this quarantine gave me the ability to really revel in my introverted side.
School had really been trying my ability to be sociable all the time. And what I mean by that is that I just felt tired all the time. Classes were tough, I was overloaded between homework and my job, and being around people was the last thing I wanted. I was short tempered, and radio silent a lot of the time. Having to ghost friends when they wanted to talk because holding a conversation (even over text) was draining. I spent a lot of my time, when not in class or working, binging American Horror Story locked away in my room in order to refill my energy.
While being locked away at home wasn’t the way I saw my semester ending and summer starting, I realized that was what I needed. I wasn’t being held accountable for plans that might have been made. I didn’t need a reason or excuse for not wanting to hang out. It was honestly, perfect. Staying home and binging tv shows and movies was not only accepted, it was encouraged. Keeping away from other people was applauded and while it was overall difficult for some people, for others, like me, it was a breeze.
My family on the other hand, wasn’t taking the adjustment too well. Both of my parents were beginning to feel stir crazy and wanted to go out. They wanted to be out of the house and not tied down to one spot. Essentially, they were the opposite of me. Explaining to them that I was completely content with staying home, finishing my semester out, and going to work one every other day, was not something they were taking well. They wanted me to be out with them and I just couldn’t bring myself to care. It sounds harsh on my part, but I was finally able to just be without a ton of obligations weighing down on my shoulders.
But this quarantine did so much more than just allow me to relax and rest, it allowed me to heal. Physically and mentally I was worn out. So much so that any interaction, of any kind, from any unwanted source, resulted in my becoming irritable, snappy and at times just plain rude. My social meter was constantly running low and I didn’t have the energy to pretend anymore. Being able to get away from it all was my saving grace. It allowed me to do what I wanted without the obligations and slowly got back into the mood of wanting to be around the human populace again. I wasn’t forced to be around people all the time. There were no social plans I needed to attend and there was no need to be anything more than a couch potato, finishing up schoolwork while binging Harry Potter and Marvel movies.
I will say that throughout this quarantine time, I have had the ability to grow to understand myself a lot better and what my needs and wants are as a person. I’ve also had the time and ability to grow closer to my parents, as this has been the most time I’ve spent with them since starting college. COVID-19 and the quarantine have taken so much from all of us but in my case, it gave me quite a bit back.
Stay safe everyone.