There is no denying that I am an introvert. As an only child with parents well above the age of my peers, there was really no other way to be. Nevertheless, I took an online personality test in my university years to prove it. While I had expected the result to be resounding, I was nevertheless shocked by my result. I am approximately 89% introverted. If you're wondering what that looks like in the way I present myself, it's a lot of cancelled plans and wall hugging at parties. I also have only two good friends and spend probably a bit too much time going to the movies with my granny.
With all this in mind, you'd expect me to thrive during a period of lockdown, where my only social commitment is to log in to my online morning work meetings. But looking back on this time, I have discovered a few surprising things about myself. Before I begin my reflective look at life under lockdown, I must acknowledge my privilege during this time. I have been able to work from home since mid-March and despite its many inconveniences, lockdown has altered my life very little. I am thankful for my health, my family and my dogs who have ensured my sanity (for the most part) during this time.
As I move on, I ask that you do not judge my oddball ways. I am fully aware that I am a rare species of human who functions a little too well on my own. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy my witty quips about how this time has allowed me to live my best introverted life.
I never go on holiday over December. This is because I love the peace and quiet that settles over the city when everyone else leaves for the coast. Living in level 5 lockdown, I was reminded of this tranquility as no cars passed by after dark and the streets were mostly deserted. As we have moved into levels 4 and 3 of lockdown, this sense of peace has quickly been eroded. As a full-blown introvert, this almost feels like an assault on my senses. Seeing main intersections busy with traffic and watching people leave for work in the early mornings has provoked real anxiety in me. Needless to say, I cannot wait for December when you all go on holiday and I can get back to my most calm self.
Naturally, I love to read. There is nothing more comforting to my soul than diving into a book and escaping reality for a few hours. Living under lockdown has afforded me much more reading time, not necessarily because I am less busy, but because I am more conscious of how much time I have available. Even as the days seem to slip away endlessly one after the other, I have found more time for myself. Making my self-care routine part of my weekly schedule has become easier, too. All in all, I feel less swept up by the daily rush of life than I usually do. It has been great being allowed to take a breather, despite the chaos of this moment. I will deeply miss this extra 'me time' when lockdown ends.
I work with a great bunch of people, but I can get so much more done when I am on my own. As an introvert, the presence of too many people around me can be distracting. Of course, in an office environment this is practically unavoidable. I am easily overwhelmed by too much noise going on while I am trying to work, as well. Setting up my work station at home has allowed me greater focus. I also enjoy my work a little bit more now. This may be attributed to the fact that I can sing out loud with no one to hear me apart from the neighbours (sorry guys). So am I secretly hoping that this work from home deal is kept even after lockdown ends? Possibly.
I miss my friends dearly. I also miss coffee. Not that I haven't had ample amounts of the stuff to keep me going during lockdown, but I am sick and tired of having to make it myself. My highest aspiration post-lockdown is to indulge in a frothy mochacccino accompanied by a full English breakfast at my favourite brunch spot with my friends, before popping into Exclusive Books to do a whole lot of book buying. That's not too much to ask for, is it?
Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I never shut up about the theatre. It's my happy place, my centre and still one of the most exciting things to do in the city, in my opinion. Although I have been binge-watching the National Theatre Live At Home and all of Joburg Ballet's recorded shows, nothing beats live performance. I have two tickets to William Kentridge's The Head & The Load at Joburg Theatre waiting on my dresser, in fact. Fingers crossed we'll be allowed to visit theatres by August!
Finally, I am looking forward to deciding on my own terms when I would like to leave the house and when I would like to stay in. Even though I am a homebody at heart, my house has started to feel like a cage. I want to feel grateful for a weekend in my pajamas on the couch, not have it be the norm. Ultimately, I am excited and hopeful that one day I'll be able to cancel my plans simply because I don't feel like venturing out, not because it's illegal to do so.
Written by Tarryn Jameson (a.k.a., the introvert).
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over? Are there any aspects of this time that you have enjoyed? Share with us in the comments below!