This week, I finally stepped out of the house to socialise after spending the past ten days at home, recovering from all the travel, acclimatising myself and ultimately running out of excuses to see other human beings. I met some friends and went to watch a live music show—my first in two years. Will Overman is on tour with his lovely band promoting his debut album. Check out his album here!
It felt surreal to have a night out again, as if it were ‘old normal'—my favourite kind of normal. Being able to watch musicians perform on stage, a few feet away from me, felt like a faint memory from a past life. The last time this happened, I was myself performing with Sylvester
, at a very boring private party and questioning my life choices.
But this reluctance to go out got me thinking: Why do I struggle to go out? I’ve always been a shy person. And a sort of a homebody. I love being at home more than I love being outside in nature, soaking up mother earth’s goodness. The pandemic and the lockdowns have exacerbated this condition for me.
I was not always like this though. I spent all of my twenties being out with friends and regularly coming home past 12 am. My 'homebodyness’ is something that has come to be in the past 2-3 years, also a time in which I started to question my chasing of ‘new experiences with the same people’ over and over again.
Through much of 2018-20, I cut myself loose from a life I had built for over a decade—from a place and a people; relationships that had reached a dead end and had no room for growth or a graceful status quo. This reckoning—starting at the end of 2018 and culminating with the onset of the pandemic—led to some major life changes. I moved cities and cut out anything I thought was toxic or negative. It eventually came down to me dropping from my life anyone who didn’t respect me or my life choices. A fairly big ask… if you ask me.
All of this led to a long solitary eight months in the 2020 lockdown: cut-off from everyone, separated from my girlfriend
and forced to come to terms with life in 2020. All by myself. Oddly enough, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I had never spent time alone like that. It was meditative. It led to some positive changes like me starting my blog
and this newsletter
and some revelations about myself that I am still discovering.
Most importantly, I learnt the value of solitude.
But this resolve to be all ekla chalo has pushed me a little too far on the other end of the spectrum. I have thrown away the bath water, the baby and the bath tub.
I am not inherently anti-social. I enjoy being around people. Once I get comfortable, I am fairly sociable. I get goofy and love having a good laugh, a trait that comes out amongst my closest.
And maybe that is why I drank five IPAs when I went out and ended up giving myself the worst hangover I’ve had in recent years, in an attempt to ‘let myself loose and enjoy’. All of yesterday, I nursed a terrible headache that ebbed and flowed, as if to ‘gently remind’ me every hour that I was not 24 anymore, while I tossed and turned in bed and drank water to hydrate my soul.
I need to go out more so I can learn to pace my drinks and learn to be goofy again because it can get confusing sometimes—if we are seeking solitude or just being avoidant.
Here’s an unrelated picture.