Quite early on, the memes started flowing. Introverts rejoice! It was like we’d won the Willy Wonker Golden Ticket…
“You must stay home. You are forbidden from leaving your home; it’s time for social distancing”.
For the introvert, none of this sparked any concern, whatsoever. Infact, it’s quite the contrary. In our minds, for the first time ever, we’ve been told it’s ok to do what we’ve always wanted to do–be alone.
We no longer have to explain to anyone why we want to cancel plans, preferring a night in with a book or a movie, our favourite beverage and a comfortable pair of sweats and a hoodie. And book. And a movie. Repeat. The law says we need to do these things; ok, technically it says just stay home, but hey, who doesn’t love a comfy hoodie and a book, and a book, and a… [insert introvert stuff here].
All this aside, and in all seriousness, there are countless people on the front lines, battling each day so that we can stay at home, safely, and for that? I am grateful.
So what does one do, in lockdown? How does one bring nourishment to the soul? How does an introvert survive this period of forced isolation? No. You ask the wrong question. We don’t mearly survive. We thrive!
I know, cliche. But it’s true, right? Here’s how I feel about it all. There is only a very small populous that an introvert is usually comfortable with, usually, or usually not, their own family, maybe a friend, most likely a pet, the characters of a book or TV series, their barista, and a small group of people, online. The latter of which because they can choose how they get to socialise with; by keyboard. In lockdown, this number doesn’t grow, so things are very stable. That frees us up for doing things we want to do. Writing. Painting. Learning a new instrument. Sleep. Eating, usually junk food, but not to replace the lack of comfort or feelings of boredom, rather to accompany and celebrate in comfort prosperity. Hibernation for all!
During lockdown, I’ve found myself doing all sorts of things–not commuting to a building full of people. Remote working, win! I’ve also taken back up the study of calculus, ’cause hey, why not? I’m reading more about things I don’t know, during times I’d otherwise be spending driving to or fro’ the building full of people I no longer have to see (disclaimer: it’s not you, it’s me). I’m staring at my lawns more. This one’s tricky, because everyone else in lockdown looks through their windows at me, looking at my lawn, alone, but smiling, looking at them, happy, that we are apart. I’ll let that imagery embed there for just a little.
It’s a kind of superpower embracing lockdown, what would otherwise be kryptonite for someone more used to being their chirpy self in the kitchen at 0800am while making coffee, trying to start a conversation with you when all you can think about is sitting at your desk with headphones on to check your email, alone. Chat to me in an hour! Or don’t! (Disclaimer: it’s not you, it’s me).
But we introverts know a secret non-introverts don’t. We know there are things that are getting the more socially inclined by, that maybe, just maybe, our little creative clan has done to nudge you along safely on this desolate journey of feel good isolation. Let’s be real; the meme culture right now? It’s on fire. I suspect my introverted friends the world over have played a part in this creative wonderland of laughs you find yourself scrolling through on Instagram. Or maybe, those usually chirpy people at the water fountain have found the magic we’ve known all along- solitude is the gateway to creation. Welcome to enlightenment.
We need this pandemic to pass, I won’t argue on that one. But the “go home, do not pass your friends, speak to no one and don’t collect $200” thing, that can stick around for as long as you like. I can live with that one just a little bit longer.
One day all this will go back to normal, for good reason, I know, and introverts will be forced to emerge back into the sunlight. But for now, it was nice knowing you, we’ll just stay right here where it’s safe, thank you.
Blog image source credit: m.imgur.com/t/isolation/OH78U3U