By GRACE PAUL
Before, as an introvert, I found social interactions to be something entirely draining and not too beneficial for me. Now, I find myself reaching out to friends, friends who I don’t often text or talk to outside of daily interactions at school. It feels like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone, where now I am being thrown into the shoes of someone who strives to stay connected.
I always took for granted the amount of socializing that it took for me to get through my daily life. If I had a rough start to my day, there was always the fact that I would be able to see my friends in a matter of minutes and laugh through the day. Now, my journals bear the burden of holding all of my jokes, boredom and fleeting thoughts.
The idea of performing ballet and jazz routines alongside childhood friends from Salinas School of Dance feels like a distant memory as I now find myself enrolling in online classes. I’ve spent hours on “Radio Silence” by Alice Oseman and Train to Busan as opposed to philosophical or nonsense in-person conversations. Maybe a month ago this would have felt like a vacation. Now, it feels isolating and lonely.
While there are alternatives to practically everything, as online classes cover a wide variety of topics and books and movies can keep you entertained, it all feels strange. It doesn’t compare to the in-person interactions that feed into creativity. It doesn’t compare to the social outlet that my friends provide whenever we strike up a conversation about nonsensical topics or the creative outlet that photography provides when I get the perfect shot. Sure, there are Google Meetings, but it doesn’t compare to being there in person.
I wish that before I had thought more about how much everything meant to me. Maybe before, staying home all day and working on all my activities from the comfort of my bed or my living room would have seemed like a dream. But a matter of a little over a week of online classes and global panic has changed my perspective drastically.
I find myself pushing my descriptive skills when it comes to creative writing, pushing my physical limits and creativity when it comes to being able to choreograph dance routines and pushing myself when it comes to executing my vision in photography.
I find myself enjoying the beauty of music, art and nature more. As an introvert, I’m finding that people are proving to be suddenly much more precious.