Blog Post No. 428
It’s taken nearly a year, but I’ve had my first real pangs of missing going out. I’ve missed my family and friends and I’ve certainly missed meeting the Writing Wrecking Crew for writing sessions, but going out for the sake of going out has never been my thing. I enjoyed going to the bars in my 20s, but even then that wasn’t my favourite way to spend time. As I talked about last week, I love going to cafes and I’ve missed my regular visits to Anchor. I love going for a quiet meal or seeing a movie, too. What I’m feeling now is different from just being tired of staying in the house, though.
Justin and I were sending some messages back and forth recently and he pointed out how long it’s been since we hung out and I had a real strong sense of being stir-crazy. I felt isolated and really craved going out and spending time with friends in person. I wasn’t the first time since I’ve been isolated that I’ve had that urge, but it was the strongest so far. It’s different with my family, too. While I’ve missed them this whole time, I live with my brother, so there is a little of that covered. Not seeing my parents is hard, and I know they really miss me too. Stopping in for a visit is a totally different thing as going out, though.
I can’t imagine what it’s been like for people who are more social than I am. For the most part, I’ve been really comfortable spending time alone. I’ve gotten a lot of writing done, watched too much TV, played a ton of video games, and put a tiny dent into the pile of books I have waiting to be read. I love being by myself with not pressure to be ‘on’ or to give energy over to being social. Like I said, I’ve missed my friends and family, but some of them I’ve been talking with regularly online, which is not quite, but almost enough for me.
I’ve missed my solo excursions around the city (the food and movie trips I’ve talked about) and I have a itch to visit some of my favourite stores that I haven’t gone to in a year, but again, that’s not the same as going out. Usually once or twice I year I feel like going out to a bar in the evening and doing some of that exhausting socializing. I’ve gone out less and less since most of my friends have moved or started families and don’t have the same kind of freedom that I do. It’s harder to get people to go out with. Usually that itch gets scratched from having or going to readings, seeing local bands play, or going to a local play. With those things off the table, the craving for socializing hasn’t happened any more often, but it’s a strong one.
I’ll be fine. I’m not about to risk getting sick and potentially spread it to others just so I can go have a beer somewhere. The city is shut down right now, anyway. Instead, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do once most people are vaccinated and it’s safe to go back to hanging out with friends again. There are a few things I can’t wait for. I have a day planned out where I start with breakfast and hit most of the places I haven’t been to in over a year and end with dinner before going home (surely exhausted). There are friends I want to go visit, in the city and outside it, either for all day chill sessions or weekend trips. The writing group is eager to get together to talk shop and get some work done with the support of each other at the same table again.
There are a few smaller plans too, like seeing a movie with my brother and a bunch of visits with my parents, but right now I have one idea that is standing out in front of all of them. I want to hit a cafe with my friend and talk big dreams like we used to. Then I’ll crawl back into my antisocial hole for a while, though it will be my own doing and not because of a pandemic.