Maintaining any sense of independence is difficult when the world is literally falling apart outside of your window, plus it’s been hard for me to lean on myself when my significant other is within arm’s reach all day everyday. For the first few weeks of shelter-in-place, I didn’t really leave the house. I was scared and sad and to be blunt- fucking depressed. I felt guilty that things were so far out of my control all over the world. Go for a walk? Um, no thank you. It’s terrifying out there.
After a while, I noticed myself getting a headache at the same time every evening and I realized my body and mind were genuinely missing time alone and movement. So I did what I do best and I ignored this for a few more days until finally, finally I forced myself to get outside. I started walking, and just kept walking until I realized I was four miles from home. I turned around and went home and to my utter surprise, I was so happy to have had a moment for myself. You don’t realize how special your commute is until you no longer have it. You don’t realize how important time alone is until you don’t have it anymore. Now I crave this time to myself and look forward to actually feeling the sun on my face, or the wind blowing my hair in every direction, rather than just seeing the day go by from inside.
This is also the time I take to call family members and friends and talk for a moment. I like hearing about my family member’s day-to-day shifts because of quarantine. I’m talking to my cousins more than I have in years. I’ve found independence during the scariest time I’ve endured and I’m proud of that. I like being around people and this quarantine has definitely taught me that I thrive when with company, but I’ve learned that recharging in a way that makes you feel good and even winds you down, is crucial. Doing it alone is even more crucial.