Liza Shulyayeva

I risk becoming a hermit and liking it

I’ve always been mostly an introvert. It always takes an effort to socialize, and while I do enjoy other people’s company when I do go out, I find I need a nice long break afterwards to recharge.

Now that I’m double vaxxed and boostered, I’m going out into the world a bit more. I took a trip to Gothenburg last summer (pre-omicron). I started going to the gym a couple of times, but each restart attempt was thwarted by cases going up so I stopped.

Now, I’m tentatively poking my nose out again. Catching up with old friends, preparing to sign up for classes again.

And to be honest, I just want to stay at home.

Don’t get me wrong: I do miss my friends. I look forward to meeting people for lunch, coffee, activities. But whenever I’m making plans a large part of me always just feels like saying “ehhhh some other time” and enjoying my time at home with the cats, my writing, and my programming projects.

I’m pretty sure if we had another year or two of isolation (ignoring all the other very negative effects of a global pandemic), I’d be mostly fine. There’s plenty to do at home, by myself.

Well, sort of. I do feel pangs of “I want to go out do something with humans!” sometimes. But they’re few and far between, and when it comes to actually making plans the pangs wane fast. One thing I do really enjoy is going out on dates. My SO and I got used to just meeting at each other’s house and not going out where there are other people, and now I look forward to some different scenery: coffee dates, dinner dates, random day trips.

I know that once I actually do go out to socialize I’ll have a lot of fun. It’s just the getting there part that I need to push through. I like my apartment. I like my one-person activities. I like chilling on my couch and reading.

But I know it’s not really healthy, and people are meant to be social creatures. So I’m going to put in extra effort to do more social things. I’m in theory looking forward to going back to singing classes, pole dance classes, maybe some in-person writing workshops or other social meetups.

I think it’ll always need that extra mental push of forcing myself to actually do these things. Maybe eventually, with more practice, it’ll get easier.

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