Thursday 22 April 2021

Self-imposed isolation, day 39

If everything goes as planned, and I truly hope it will, this should be my last post from isolation. It’ll be two weeks since my first vaccine dose this weekend, so I have been cleaning my rented room and gathering my things. (I have sent away all coffee except what I need tomorrow morning, so this had better work out!) Tomorrow my family may be in for a shock when a cave woman will appear in our apartment. 😜

39 days is rather a lot more than the three hours I predicted I might last without my family. But what were these 39 days like?

Not very exciting, as I may have mentioned before (and again).

I missed my family, and that made it extremely hard, but otherwise, I did not suffer from isolation. Finally there are some perks in being an introverted hermit! As long as I have books to read and stories to write, I’m fine. True, sometimes it would be nice to go to places, like the library or museums (and the biggest nerd award goes to me! 😄), but the longer the pandemic has lasted, the less I seem to miss those things. Probably just adapting to the circumstances.

And being on one’s own is not always a bad thing. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, in connection with a story I’ve been playing around with, is how the perceptions of others (or their perceived perceptions) influence how we see ourselves. When people say things like ”You’re such-and-such a person” or ”You always…” - how do those interpretations and narratives affect the way we behave and the way we feel about ourselves? How do they influence our actions and, therefore, even our future? When you spend time on your own, you’re not surrounded by these interpretations. Can you be more yourself then, perhaps even rediscover or regain some part of yourself that you may have put aside, ignored or toned down while you’re around other people? When you’re on your own, you can’t rely on others for, say, emotional support. Perhaps there are traits that take over only when you’re alone because you don’t need them at other times.

I’m not going to share any big revelations concerning such things. Something that has become clear during these days: I am not prepared to discuss anything truly personal publicly. More drama and personal disclosures would, no doubt, make for more interesting reading, but that is not me – and I suppose you’d need to have that drama in your life before you can go and talk about it 😄 or at least have a talent for developing/embellishing it.

Something else I’ve learned during these weeks, though: I am the kind of person who’ll hand wash dishes rather than try and use an unfamiliar dishwasher. Considering the pizza debacle, that may be a good thing.

It would also appear I’m one of those people for whom unseen or implied threats are more frightening than things they can actually see. Not that I was scared here at night… much... but I did not bring a sword with me! Now, the sleeping alcoves have curtains, which seemed like a good idea, to close off the sleeping space and to shut off the light from the window. But no! Something might be lurking behind the curtains and I had to leave them open. Then again, when there was too much noise at night, I started closing the curtains, hoping they’d absorb sound. Apparently my fear of sleep-disturbing noise outweighs my fear of creatures of the dark.

Having mentioned swords, I’m seizing this excuse opportunity to post photos of mine (mostly because I have no relevant picture for today’s post). Click, and bigger pictures shall appear:

During this time, I wrote a blog post every day. Not an experiment I’m keen to repeat. Also, it seems that when I have nothing else to say, I start talking about food. Or embarrassing examples of serious bookgeekery. Or just books.

Oddly enough, the aforementioned pizza (mis)adventure ranks among the most popular of my isolation posts! Readers were equally interested in the one about books and libraries, though, and the one with my DD’s lovely snow owl. 💗

Last, but certainly not least, I want to say thank you to dear friends who have cheered me up, sent (and read) messages and generally been there for me. It has helped enormously, and I am truly lucky to know you. 💙

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