Stepping Out

A few days ago I happened to encounter some friends at the library. We talked for a while, then they asked if I were going to a tea for a local artist. I said no, and added that I wasn’t yet comfortable being in group. One woman asked me if my reluctance was because of the virus or because I didn’t want to be around people.

I had to chuckle at her perspicacious comment. I was doing well trying to be sociable until the restriction on gatherings was put in place, and then suddenly, I was back in my milieu (being by myself). It’s one of the reasons that when a job opportunity arose, I took it — not only would it help with my bills, but it would keep me from being a total hermit in those hermitage times. I never felt uncomfortable, either with the women or with the prospect of getting sick, because we more or less formed our own little family group.

The truth is, though, now that things are opening up again, I really am hesitant to be around people. During the past year and a half, I never got sick. I had allergy flareups, but I never caught anything at all, no colds, no “regular” flu, no infections of any kind. I must admit, I did like that. A lot.

Still, the woman’s comment did make me rethink my ways. If I let the reluctance at being around people get any stronger, it could become a stranglehold. Though I didn’t go to that tea, I did attend a meeting of the local art guild, and when the opportunity arose to attend another get together, I waffled, but I did go.

It’s possible I’ll retreat into my lovely shell again (a reference to my house, of course), but I don’t know. I do know I enjoyed being around people again, so I might continue stepping out.

Unless I get sick, of course; then all bets are off.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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7 Responses to “Stepping Out”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Yeah, I can understand the hesitancy. But like anything, baby steps are important. Whether that be a job, or a meeting with family, so long as it’s not too rushed.
    That, and proper safety measures are taken.

  2. Marion Marchetto Says:

    Like you I withdrew to my shell during the pandemic. By nature I’m a home-body so this was not a hardship for me. There was still the phone and the internet and I put them to good use. Now I let the world come to me. I spend quality time on both by patio and my front porch (social interaction as people walk their dogs), I venture out for medical appointments or excursions to the grocery store but I don’t go out ‘just because’. I think I’ve found my true self. Thanks for such a lovely post.

  3. Estragon Says:

    I suspect many of us are and will struggle with this for some time. We have to come to terms not only with our own comfort, or lack thereof, in group settings. We also have to deal with varying levels of (dis)comfort among other potential group participants.

    Some may feel free at last to (eg) ditch the mask always and everywhere, to give a metaphorical finger to the imposed restrictions of the last year+. Others may feel better keeping things as they are, either out if fear of this or other afflictions, or simply because this is their new normal. Most of us will likely fall somewhere in between, trying to make sense of it all.

  4. Uthayanan Says:

    Pat I don’t know your life before with Jeff. Your 34 yers of life with him and without him 11+ years life, pandemic, approche of other people a widower might changed you to live in your own circle. I feel you are a open minded friendly, naturally good relationship with anybody, and good conversationalist. You can live in your circle (shell) build by yourself or leave from your circle to meet others is not difficult for you.
    It is simply a speculation. I may be wrong. Future will tell. Some time life is like that.

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