Loneliness isn’t killing me, but it ain’t great!
So… this pandemic pretty much sucks, am I right? I mean, for the most part, I’m “OK”. There is a lot that I can’t really complain about in terms of my well-being, externally anyway. I’m employed, I have a place to stay, I’m keeping fed, I’m in touch with friends online through various means. Life is such that when people ask how I am, the answer is “fine” or “OK” with an added, “all things considered.
With all apologies to Ms. Spears, it really is the loneliness that’s getting to me though. I talk (and joke) about how long it’s been since I’ve had any meaningful face-to-face interactions with people that haven’t been essential employees, whether where I live or where I shop or when I have necessities delivered.
I have video and voice calls with friends, there’s online message and texts, but it’s not the same and that’s been wearing on me the whole time. Some days worse than others. Being immunocompromised, I did the equivalent of boarding up the windows and barricading the doors… less to keep others out, but to keep myself in. Almost like a monster movie where the afflicted person insists on being chained up or tied down. I wanted to ignore the advice just as much as anyone. I wanted to go for walks, shopping, cocktails, …brunch.
Just because I know it’s safer to stay inside, doesn’t mean I like it. I mourn the loss of my routine, even my commute to/from work. I don’t have an office in my apartment, so my “work from home” space is my couch. Which is also my streaming studio. Which is also my space to relax. And it’s all starting to blur right now. I told a friend, “I hate my couch,” not because I’d like to replace it — I would — but I’m tired of it now being the only place aside from my bed that I can really unwind at home. I liked having other places to do that. (I do have an outdoor space attached to my apartment, but it’s also Summer… in DC. I’ll opt for air conditioning, thanks.)
I know I’m not alone (ha ha) in this either. It’s hard not to feel that if I did have a friend in my bubble, or a partner of whatever level, that this might be easier. But I could also be fooling myself about that.
And I am absolutely jealous of people who go out and about doing things with precautions, with friends, even those who go out and do things and then dutifully get tested after, just in case. I’m just doing my best to go to the grocery store or for a walk in the park right after sunrise, avoiding people and not touching anything. For me, even just that feels like a lot, and I own that.
Right now I mostly just wish I could give someone a hug. Or go out dancing til the wee hours of the night. Or have a lovely long boozy brunch from 10 to 5 and then stumble home in a cab. (See also: drinking & dancing from 10 to 5, just a different am/pm order.)
As I said, I’m doing video calls, but they aren’t the same. Perhaps, again, because it also feels like the same thing I do for a living. Zoom/Teams meetings for the day job or the creative job makes me feel like there’s some pressure to have a reason for calling folks up. Happy hour, watching a movie/show together, something like that. Not just hanging out on video or voice and enjoying each other’s company. Again, something I gotta work on.
Speaking of things I have to work on, this blog is also one of them. So posts like this, just blarghing out my thoughts and feelings, haven’t been easy to write because, what’s the fun in reading about this? But it does make me feel a little better getting it out on virtual paper.
Now… trying to find other interesting things to share from a life mostly isolated and quarantined during a pandemic? I guess we’ll just have to see what comes to mind next! 💖