I used to want to live alone more than anything else. It was one of my greatest desires for so many years. Presently, I’ve been living alone for almost two years and I love it. However, during moments of vulnerability, whether I’m sick, experiencing depression lows, or struggling with my anxiety, I always find myself wishing for a friendly or familiar face to pop in my doorway and say hello or just ask how I’m feeling and then pop back out again. I find myself wishing I wasn’t alone more often, even just wishing for the noises of someone else’s presence in the next room, to know someone is near that I know and trust like when I was living with my family. My entire life I’ve been introverted, soaking up my alone time like a sponge and relishing in it. My bedrooms have always been my small spaces of sanctuary for art, expression, meditation. My entire home has become that for me now. I’m so in love with the space I’ve created for myself and I don’t want to disrupt it, but I am always alone now. Maybe I’m not sure what it is I’m craving. I’m working on identifying it every day. I feel so unfulfilled. I used to think I was unsocial, but I think I’m just quiet and reserved. I love to observe and reflect. I love to exist quietly next to people who don’t poke at me for entertainment or answers, but rather just enjoy my company and I enjoy theirs. I’m grateful for friends and acquaintances who enjoy being quiet with me. (And I have them, y’all know who you are, I love you). I think I just miss PEOPLE. Introverted tendencies aside, I have also always been someone who enjoys connecting with others, going out and making new acquaintances, and then going home to enjoy my alone time and recharge. 2020 has made me feel even more disconnected from other humans than ever before. Scrolling social media contributes to my anxiety and panic attacks. When I think about going out and being social outside of my safe spaces (home and work), I feel like I’m going to throw up from anxiety. Imagining someone new to come into my home makes me afraid of that vulnerability. Such a strange feeling to simultaneously desire & fear human connection and vulnerability. I’ve been pushing myself into a dark realm of loneliness for so long now. I’ve isolated myself away from people who try to connect because of insecurities and fear of vulnerability. Fear of being hurt. Fear of letting someone down. I think I’ve let a lot of people down over the years. Guilt is a poison that takes control in small but volatile ways. Guilt and insecure has pushed me back into the shell of myself time and time again. The shell gets old. The shell gets lonely. The shell needs a window or a door, no one knows where to knock anymore.