It is an absolutely lovely Sunday morning and I am find myself reflective in a way that would be better suited to a real essay but I have a kitchen to clean and a greenmarket to visit before the best spinach sells out. So I’ll just write this out in a few messy overlong paragraphs, perhaps most fitting for my fugue.
It’s just that never before have I been so aware that human joy and connection is fleeting. More than that: fragile. And never before have I felt so stricken by this fact. This last week has been more social than the 15 months before it, and I have been constantly overstimulated, giddy, and anxious. How to find a center in this whirling dervish of everyone and everything after the cozy claustrophobia of covid incubation tanks. This morning my cuticles are bleeding, my guts are a mess, and I am obsessively running over the dumb things I said and did in every social event I attended–the myriad ways I failed to listen well, hold space for others, breath before opening my big trap. Not to mention the small and big hurts I glossed over in everyone around me, including how they were clocking me (how embarrassing). I of course am an extroverted introvert; I naturally replenish energy reserves alone rather than around others, who drain me even when I adore them (especially then) because I always clock everything they’re thinking and feeling even as I am prattling on a topic of my own (especially then). Worse, it means I am someone who dominates and performs when nervous–so much so that you can tell I actually trust you when I got silent.
After 15 months of nearly zero socialization I have lost my mechanisms of self-regulation, meaning that I get so overstimulated by the energy of people around me that I keep turning into That Lady–the oxygen-sucker with mentionitus, which is what I call the pathology of using everything someone says as an opportunity to jump in with a comment of your own. AKA the worst. There’s not much to add to this and in fact it’s the kind of post that I normally leave up for 15 minutes and then delete. But for now I’m pressing send just in case anyone else is feeling this particular overwhelm. A sense of being so grateful to be back in this world. To still be alive. To love so much. But also a sense of not living up to any of it when trying to live within it.