It is very difficult to find your tribe in the individualistic world. But I have been extremely lucky in finding amazing people, building relationships and maintaining them over years while going through a transformation from being an introvert to now almost an extrovert.
When the isolation process began, I was wondering what to do with life as I would otherwise go through the day by taking at least two walks one to Schuylkill and the other few blocks down my apartment. I was worried thinking how I could give myself a break, get to talk to people and have the daily dose of bliss.
One of the gatherings close to my heart was also put on hold until Corona gave us all some relief from itself. And one of the weekend things I looked forward to was brought to a halt too!
Fortunately, I was always in frequent contact with some of my friends in India. My foster brother and junior Arpit, Vinay, Priyanka – my girlfriend, and my family – people I almost spoke to daily. It is like a breath of fresh air!
Not that I had any less school work, but for an extroverted introvert, human interactions are more like addictive prescription drugs. Once an introverts starts turning into an extrovert, trust me there is no going back!
The first week was quiet. YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime – I was exhausted, not by watching the shows but by scrolling down the endless list of series and movies. I am not going to survive, I thought preparing for the extrovert in me to die in pain of seclusion.
One such dull morning, my phone rang. It was an undergrad friend of mine. We spoke for hours at a stretch. Old times! I felt like a bird would feel if it was freed from a cage.
Every other day I would get a text or a call from someone – people I had not necessarily spoken to in a long period of time. I realised what a relief it was in the times where we have to stay divided to protect each other, to not be physically with each other to care and to learn to love from afar.
There were moments when I realised I would have spoken to them more often earlier. There were things we spoke about that we never discussed. Every phone call was both overwhelming to the heart and oozing with care and warmth. Distance makes the heart grow fonder they say. But simply with the thought of being separated we are all much closer than we were before.
I received e-mails from my ex-colleagues and texts from people I had interacted rarely and it made me realize what an impact love has on others. Not that I have been a very loving person but I have been extremely lucky in always ending up with people who love me back, more than I love them.
By the second week my social gathering group figured out a way with technology to still continue our meetings online and Friday evening was special again!!
I started doing the same for my loved ones too. Because all that you are given you are expected to give. Quarantine, self isolation and social distancing have only made me realize how much love I have by my side.
I am sure like me, you are quarantined in love too.