I’ve been thinking a lot over the past year about how unsupportive I’ve been to the people around me.
Recently, I realized that a lot of those experiences were tied to my previous jobs, like my college work-study job and my part-time jobs after that. I brushed off many coworkers who were openly dealing with traumatic experiences, or introduced uncomfortable topics of conversation without realizing that they could be triggering. I can’t stop thinking about how sad I must have made those around me feel, or even how they must have, understandably, distanced themselves from me after I proved to be an unreliable person.
At the time, I worried a lot about saying the wrong thing. Now I realize that saying nothing is its own way of “saying the wrong thing,” and my silence affects people in its own way.
It’s been nice because I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve tuned in to what makes me feel good and what makes me feel drained. As society has opened up little-by-little, I’ve been able to experiment with setting boundaries with other people, and learn how much recharge time I really need after being social. I’ve learned to value whatever nourishing connections I can find and cherish them without become bitter and grumpy about obligation and overstimulation. Now, more than ever, I’ve even appreciated whatever small vacations and changes-of-scenery I can take away from home.
It’s sucked because, like I mentioned earlier, I’ve settled into quarantine hard. It’s extremely easy to set boundaries with others when I can hide behind social distancing guidelines. I’ve secretly been dreading a return to normal because I’ve realized that I am a huge homebody, and part of me doesn’t really want to return to normal. I love the 2-minute commute to my desk! I love not spending money at bars and clubs every weekend! I love not having to stress about feeling obligated to do things that I don’t actually want to do! I’m dreading having to make those decisions again! For the rest of my life!
Honestly, I’ve been in a little bit of a weird mood lately, so maybe some happy meditation and gratitude will do me good.
My favorite place to be is in bed with my boyfriend fiancé, right before sleeping. Pillow talk is the best! I know it’s cheesy – fight me!
My second favorite place to be, especially in the past year, is sitting on my front porch, book in hand and earbuds in. This depends heavily on the weather – it can’t be too chilly or too hot I’ll want to go back inside – but if everything is perfect? Low humidity? Slight breeze? A few clouds but otherwise blue skies? Sign me up! I could read for hours!
My third favorite place to be, that I haven’t been able to enjoy in the past year, is actually an airport and/or a hotel! I say both because they’re both my favorite for the same reason – things are happening! What kind of person goes to airports just to hang out? (Apparently there are awesome airports abroad, and to that I say, I live in Boston! What kind of psycho goes to Logan for fun?) Or books a hotel room on a normal night? Nobody! I assume! I’m one of those people who loves staking out good seats at the gate before a flight and unpacks my luggage into the dressers as soon as I get into a hotel room, if that gives you any indication.