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My Kingdom for a...Hug?!?

We are in some strange times. For example, if I keep going the way I am currently headed, you will get one post on this blog every month. For some I know, that's probably one post too many. That's fine. You don't have to read it. For the other 7 of you that stop by on a regular basis, all I can say is this. I'll try to do better.

In theory, I should have more time, right? Isn't that one of the things people are on about with our current pandemic-con? BTW...WORST CON EVER.

I don't know that I actually have more time to be creative.

I really don't have any idea where this post is going. At this point, it's kind of a freeramble. Or it will be as soon as I go cut my nails. Excuse me for a moment, will you?

Much better. I don't know what it is, but if my fingernails are too long, it bugs the crap out of me when I'm typing.

If you know me at all, you know that I am easily annoyed by people. You may also have picked up that I suffer from one of the seemingly garden variety of social anxiety disorders. One of the key tenants of this flavor of mismatched brain candy is that I tend to overthink the shit out of everything. And I rabbit hole things. And I have a hard time believing that even though you asked me to come some place, that you actually wanted me there in the first place, or shortly after my arrival you immediately regret your decision to invite me, but are too polite to ask me to leave.

If I have ever cancelled on you within ten minutes of the planned time you and I had to do something, please re-read that last paragraph again. You may gain some insight into what was happening.

All of these can still happen. The meds are good, but they aren't great, and my mind is like that shitty Dark Side of the Force swamp on Dagobah. The Meds are like Yoda, fiddling with his stick, telling me I don't need a blaster. And my mind is all like Luke, strapping on that gun and diving down that dark hole.

So, you'd think that something like this Shelter-In-Place/Stay-At-Home thing would be right up my alley then, right? No plans to cancel because we can't actually meet up. Normally I would say you are right, but the number of House Party invites I've bailed on at the last minute would prove us both wrong.

It turns out that while I genuinely have difficulty getting to a social event, once I'm there I usually do OK until my Introvert Low-Fuel indicator kicks in and I have to go home and do anything other than be around people.

Something else that is weird, is this. While I do have a hard time in social situations (you may not believe me, but trust me when I tell you that I do. Those inner voices are like Kylo-Ren 13 minutes before the Prom), it turns out that I actually thrive off of being around people. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I need physical contact. Hugs, man. I'm talking about hugs.

I freakin' love hugs. Hugs can run the gamut of intimate and emotional intent. But it's fair to say that regardless of the hug, I'm a fan. Being on this lockdown scenario for the last...what...18 days has just been...well....kind of depressing, if I'm being honest.

But Todd...you're quarantined with your best friend, how can that be bad? Well..normally I would agree, my bestie is pretty awesome, but you're forgetting the flip side of that--she's quarantined with me. And I'm kinda moody sometimes. And I bottle shit up. And I...seriously...did you miss the whole paragraph about being on Dagobah? No. Honestly, it's been fine. But it's not like it's all cocktails and Magic the Gathering every night.

I still have to work during the day. So, I'm working from home. Monitors and my work computer have taken over my writing desk.

Before I fall deeper into this rabbit hole, I do want to say one thing. I know that I'm incredibly fortunate to be able to do my job from home. I know a ton of people don't have that option. I don't take it for granted, and I'm not bitching about it in the way you may think.

What I do want to say about working from home is this--it blurs the work/life balance thing. Prior to this whole thing, there was a clear delineation. I got up, showered, went into the office, did my job, came home, threw on some shorts and boom. The evening begins, Todd time. Oh, gosh...not like THAT. OK...I mean...sometimes like that, but mostly just binging Netflix and sorting through Magic the Gathering cards for the evening.

That structure isn't really there now. My home space, that place I come to unwind, is now also the place where I actually have to do the things that pay the bills. There's no decompress time on the drive home.

It's just....weird.

The other thing that's weird in all of this is that I had just started to figure out what it might be like to start dating. Honestly, I can't really tell you how much I miss watching a movie, snuggled up with someone on the couch who doesn't have 4 paws and tries to lick the popcorn salt off my fingers.

But how do you get to know someone without breaking quarantine? Chatting goes so far. But until you can hear the voice, pick up on the cues, it's a mine field. Seriously. The way my brain is wired, what might seem like a little harmless comment by the sender could have me wondering what I said, and how could I be such a terrible human.

There might be some esteem issues I'm working through. It's fine. I'm not 50 until next year. Still got time to get my shit together, right?

So...I guess that's where we are. Starting this week, I will be dressing Business Casual from the waist up and SO not business casual from the waist down. Because, you know...Teams meetings with the cameras on. So...yay for that.

I don't know what it's going to be like after COVID-19 gets corralled, whenever that may be.  But, I can't wait for the day when we can actually be around people. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm probably not going to enjoy talking to them any more than I did before, but I at least would like to be in the same room. And I can't wait to hug my friends. To hug my parents. To hug my Gramps.  To hug my daughter.

I fucking miss hugs. I can't tell you, because I don't know the word that describes the indescribable depth to which I miss hugs.  But I do.

And I can't wait for awkward conversations over coffee. At least I'll know much quicker if I'm truly a dork, or just imagining it.

I hope you are all holding up OK out there. Seriously. I see a lot of people joking about this being the shit that Introverts were made for. And maybe for some it is. For others, like me, it limits the chance for me to break the cycle. If I'm starting to go inward and spiral down, I could always go somewhere...break the cycle by changing the environment. The options for that are much more limited these days, so it makes it harder for me to break that spiral when it starts.

There have been some moments. We've come too far for me to lie about any of that. So, yeah. I'm hanging on. Somedays it's with both hands as I'm pulling myself up over the edge to the good side of the cliff. Other days, I don't know, man. I just don't know.

All I can say is, we can make it through this. And by we, I mostly mean me (because there's still a part of me that only things like 4 people ever read this). But WE  can make it through this.

Just be good to yourselves. Be good to each other. Be good to the people who can't Shelter in Place right now, because they are putting themselves at greater risk on a daily basis.

And...I say this with no intent to scare you...but if we are friends...you can bet your ass that I am giving you the biggest hug I can when hugs are again legal. Count on it.

Until then...I'll try to use all this free pandemic time that we're all supposed to have and get some more of these blogs posted.

Love you my peeps.

-AT

Comments

LP said…
I grok this so much. I have actually added having 2 of 3 kids home during this as something I am thankful for. And a solid 60% of that reason is hugs. Hang in there Sunshine... the pendulum will soon swing the other way and your bestie will be telling you things like “She’s in the driveway...AGAIN. Go hug her so I can back my car out without hitting her.”
OK, maybe not exactly that but you get the gist.
Laura V said…
Pretty good one! I totally get that separation of work and home life as well. What was my desk is now my work desk/home desk. And I'm not liking the melding of the two! It works but it still sucks. Work is done out there, at that place. They don't call me on the weekends and I don't call them! Ugh. It's making me grouchy and requiring me to use far too many exclamation points! (See?)

Hang in there, todska! I know it seems like the last couple of weeks have lasted for months, strangely enough, but it hasn't been. You can do this. Naturally. And we will all be waiting for hugs when we get out of this strange internment.

Oh, and one last thing. Doesn't that Capital One commercial guy make you yell "Joe!" and point at the screen in horror? Or is that just me?

- laudah (now lauvil - an almost word now! With a 'vile' in the middle)

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