I happen to be one of those people who have enjoyed staying at home. Why wouldn’t I? I’m a writer.

When out among crowds, I used to limit my “exposure” time and could tell when I had over-stepped my limit and needed to get home.

Social gatherings often made me feel like the outsider who tired of the small talk and longed for more in depth conversation, deeper thought.

Though my plight didn’t keep me from joining and participating and attempting to enjoy the laughter and cacophony around me. However, it left me wanting something else or, should I say, wanting the peace of my own surroundings, waiting
until I could say my “good-byes” and return to my home.

Even when out and about, I felt part of a group or crowd but never me, myself, or I.
I could listen and hear the conversations around me as if in a dream but never really
felt fully “there.”

All of this caught me off guard when the pandemic hit, and it was advised citizens stay
home.

Was it the sudden and unexpected order that made me feel paralyzed, immobile,
claustrophobic?

Of course, fear and anxiety can play their part in intensifying otherwise ordinary
day-to-day emotions.

But now it’s more than that. Somehow the complex of feeling boxed-in, shut away,
looking out from within forces me to think I want to escape, probably not that much
different than a prisoner who ponders ways to do just that.

Little things like a two-block walk and finding someone waving or nodding or merely saying,
“Hi,” during this pandemic makes an introvert like me grateful for the sincerity of small social
motions. I like the genuineness of smiling faces, the nodding of heads that seem to say,
“I understand.”

My introvert world brought me back to nature whether it be feeding carrots to some nearby
horses, smiling at some deer lazing gracefully in a yard, or pondering the sunny crystals on
Hale’s Passage.

Whether this feeling of being locked away will pass once the pandemic does, I somehow doubt.
Then, it will be my decision to stay home; after all, I am a writer!