I would say I have been taking social distancing more stringently than most. This is not to say that I’m the only one taking more extreme measures. But sometimes, I do feel alone in this matter whenever I peruse through the Instagram stories posted by my social circles. It seems that with each new week, more and more people are now cruising through crowded places sans mask. Even as rules were lifted and small groups were allowed to gather again, I still turned down invites, quipping, “I’ll see you guys next year [when there’s a vaccine].”
It’s been four months — four months without interacting with another soul that wasn’t my family or the cashier at the grocery store. Even as my county loosened up on the stay-at-home order, I chose to stay at home. The freshly painted circles that sprouted up overnight in the parks, which allowed groups to gather while sitting six feet apart from the next group, seemed counterintuitive. I didn’t entirely trust this was the right timing to become lax with social distancing. And so I continued my decision to self-isolate at home.
While the pandemic was enough of a reason to self-isolate, I continued to do so because I was actually quite happy being able to focus on just myself for a change. The last two years of my life have been filled with enough social events to last me for the rest of my life. As an introvert (69% according to my Myers-Brigg’s), it’s taken quite a toll on many aspects of my life.
I was exhausted from being in constant people-pleaser mode, saying many ‘yeses’ that should’ve been ‘noes’. I was tired of feeling like my time spent traveling into the city to see people was taken for granted. I was depleted from waking up with hangovers on Sundays that never seemed to completely fade away until Tuesday evening. Most of all, I was drained from being a sounding board for the same old problems I’ve heard over the years. Everyone wanted to complain yet talk about change without putting in the work.
They say you are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. I believed this to be true from the first time I heard it years ago. But I wanted to change. I wasn’t unknowingly stuck in circles of self-destruction and self-sabotage. I wasn’t spewing the same old problems and stories with empty promises that this was going to be the very last time… right?
Oh, no, honey. You are very wrong. You’ve believed your own delusions because you spent more of your free time drunk than sober. How could you have possibly been introspective about anything and realize the unhealthy patterns and pitfalls you’ve also kept yourself trapped in?
Fast forward to the present day. All of a sudden, I realized what my therapist had meant when she emphasized on more than one occasion to “protect your energy.” So while yes, I self-isolate out of precaution, I also continue to self-isolate for my sanity.
Because of the slower pace, there wasn’t as big of an urge to catch up on anything socially: Facebook events, Instagram stories, LinkedIn, etc. In fact, I’ve shut down all of my accounts listed above and thus, have been spending less time on my phone and more of it immersed in nature.
This was basically a long winded way to say that I took these pictures during my newfounded free time and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.