I’m sitting in Terminal 2 at SFO, waiting to board my flight to Boston to be with my family in New Hampshire. Of course, it’s going to be 70 degrees and sunny in San Francisco today and I’m voluntarily flying to a region of the country that currently closely resembles Dante’s ninth level of Hell, minus the Devil chewing me for all eternity in his giant maw. Though given the forecast for tonight is four degrees in NH I might prefer Satan’s mastication. I’m apparently a glutton for weather-related punishment.
The last few days have been weird. I’m profoundly relieved not to be working (especially given some of the thoroughly exhausting and annoying problems I’ve been dealing with at work recently that have been chipping away at my capacity not to scream at everyone), but I also didn’t realize how much I depend on work for day-to-day social interaction. When you live alone and are not going to an office everyday, it’s easy to go forever without speaking to another human being unless you’re buying food or coffee. Don’t get me wrong, my local barista is awesome and knows my usual order, but we’re not exactly on intimate terms.
So I’m really looking forward to being with my family, and also hopefully spending some time with my friends on the East Coast during the next month and a half. But I know now that when I do return to SF at the end of March that I really have to plan activities or take classes that put me in regular contact with other people on a daily basis. As an extreme introvert, it’s too easy for me to be alone. After a day of solitude, I enter a weird anxiety vortex where I start dreading my next social interaction, even if it’s with a close friend or family member. I wrap alone-ness around me like a blanket and want to avoid the chilly outside air at all costs and start circling the Netflix drain.
My goal, therefore? Not to hibernate or to hide for the next three months. I want this time to be productive and regenerative, not an excuse to indulge some of my more antisocial instincts. Of course, I might freeze to death in the next three days, but if I do at least know that I intended to better myself. I’ll write again on the other side of Satan’s jaw!