The Pandemic Has Turned Me Into An Extrovert And I’m Not Sure If I Like It
I actually answer the phone now.
Picture this. It’s March 2020. The city has just gone under lockdown. For a girl who’d wait for the phone to stop ringing so that she can text that person later instead—this was a dream come true. I don’t particularly despise people and human connection, but if you would ask me to join you for a quick lunch at a nearby café, I’d suggest ordering in. I am a confirmed introvert and a proud homebody. No, I don’t feel empty. Yes, I am irrevocably content in my own company.
The months following March were (to nobody’s surprise but my own) a living nightmare for me. I suddenly found myself drowning in a pool of Zoom calls, a sister constantly trying to FaceTime, a phone that would ring every hour and a sudden need to be a good communicator. And while I spent the day typing away on the laptop, some moments crippled me with anxiety. For the first time in my 23 years of existence, I believed in God and became devout of sorts.
But what did I pray for? I prayed for it all to get better so that I can go back to living my usual life with minimal talking. Little did I know that I’d be asked to confine myself for more than 365 days. Another big nightmare.
I went from ‘let it all get better’ to ‘I want to go out.”
It was clear. I was being converted into an ambivert in privacy. And even before I could acknowledge it, I was dreaming of sipping wine in a place packed with people. Flash forward to 2021, I have found myself more social than usual. Think of a random person smiling at you persistently while you pick your bread at a grocery store. Creepy, I know (especially with a facemask on), but that is me now. Taking a conscious effort to schedule video calls with my best friends? Hell yes, it’s me again. Spending a sunny Sunday afternoon venting to my favourite human about how I long for a big bowl of pasta in that peppy restaurant? You know who this is. My friends are now surprised. If you are to go through my messages right now, chances are that you will come across ‘are you okay’ or ‘is this really you’ twice. Or maybe thrice.
While I know that this could be just a phase, I wonder what an actual extrovert is currently going through. I wonder if the process has been vice versa with them. But when I actually deep dive into it and think of the people around me, I realise that we’re all just sitting in our sweatpants, at home vulnerable and waiting for this to end so that we can hug again (or maybe not).
How has the pandemic changed you?
Photographs: Pinterest, Instagram (@emmylupinstudio)