Weird to say as everyone is becoming super antsy during their own form of quarantine.
I realized this today after taking a (much needed) nap instead of driving half an hour to see my dad and sister, again. The past two months I have been driving back to my house every Saturday and Sunday to hang out with my dad and sister. My boyfriend usually comes along on Saturdays and some Sundays but he has his own stuff to do. Then I usually go back and sleep there one day during the week when my sister stays at her fiancés place.
I know I should feel lucky to see my family this often during this pandemic, and I do, but it’s exhausting hanging out with family when you’re an adult. My sister is one thing, she’s only two years older than me so it’s not a big deal. But my dad is a different story, I need to satisfy his conversational needs while also doing outdoor activities every weekend. My sister has lived here for four years plus the four years she went to school here, so she’s been in the area for eight years now. I’ve lived here for two years. We’re at the point where we don’t need to jet ski and kayak and paddle board and wakeboard every single day. And yes, I mean all four of those every single day, not choosing just one each day. We’ve done it. And driving over to the gulf side every Saturday and Sunday only to spend 12 hours out in the sun is exhausting. All while hanging out with a parent, I’m struggling. Life is exhausting.
Today I fell asleep after breakfast at my boyfriends place. When I woke up I felt bad because I left my sister there all alone with my dad and I know my dad wanted to see me, too. But then I realized that I haven’t had a day to myself in the two months he’s been here. I spend all week working and when I finally get to the weekend, I wake up just as early and still have to converse and entertain people. That is not how I work. Some people are so extroverted and enthusiastic about life that they can handle this. I am not one of these people.
I love my dad, I truly do, he’s done everything he possibly can for my siblings and I. But I love me, too. I love my alone time. My time to write, to read, to nap, to gorge on Indian food while naked watching The Office.
In my time hanging out with my family, I forgot how important it is to have alone time, too. To let my thoughts go wild. To create something. To learn something. And just rejuvenate so I don’t implode.
I know the world is very split right now, you’re either never seeing anyone and are craving social interaction, or you live with a significant other and are craving some alone time. If you need that alone time, don’t be afraid to voice it. It’s okay to be selfish when you’re taking care of yourself. Tell whomever you are with to leave you alone. You don’t have to spend the day with someone just because you’re family or are living together.
It’s like being a teenager, you’re told not to do drugs, you do drugs. Now we’re told not to go anywhere, don’t go near people, so all of a sudden we all want to do everything. I used to spend most of my weekends holed up on the porch reading a book with my buns chewing the pages or binge watching entire seasons of Friends on Netflix. So why am I now seeing people (just fam) while we’re told to stay away? It’s the teenager effect.
Don’t let it fool you, you can still take time to be alone. Everyone needs their alone time. Don’t let the state of world change the way you think. I know you think you’re wasting away a year of your life but in reality, how often would you be going to the bars anyway? Unless you are one of those magical people that can see people everyday without crying (super jealous), you probably would have spent many of these weekends chilling anyway.
Take care of yourself during this time. We have many years left to live, don’t think this quarantine is stealing your time. Don’t let others thoughts and anger become yours. I know everyone is seeing the memes and tweets about how everyone just wants to go out and drink but you don’t need to let their wants control your needs. Do what you need. Listen to your body and mind. This time can be scary and exhausting on its own if you’re worrying about family, don’t stress yourself out more than you need to. Let that spicy Indian food take you where you need to be.
Good luck y’all and stay safe. We’ll be able to go back out eventually and when we do, it’ll be on our time.