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How lockdown changed my personality

A Good reader shares how lockdown allowed her to embrace her unknown inner introvert.

In March 2020, the first and second Covid-19 lockdowns changed many things. Grand plans like travelling overseas and celebrating thirtieth birthdays were dashed in the blink of the eye, then quickly forgotten while confined within my apartment’s boundaries.

Although the lines between work and life blurred and the bags under my eyes deepened, looking back, the lockdown wasn’t all that bad. I rediscovered my love for cooking nourishing meals, taking comfort in long naps and embracing my newfound confidence to leave the house (for the supermarket) without my signature eyeliner.

But lockdown also changed me, whether for the better or worse. Formerly the party planner and bringer-of-people-together, I now found myself slipping away, uninterested in Zoom drinks or chatting with friends via the House Party app. Throwing my all into work projects and taking long naps, although I craved the company of my bubble, I became less bothered by the outside world, as well as the relentless chatter inside my head.

By the second lockdown, it was as if the associated exhaustion from working long hours in a confined space, dealing with difficult colleagues virtually and the subconscious stress of living through yet another ordeal had dampened my desire to return to my previous levels of socialising. Returning to work and feeling miles away from colleagues in our loud and vibrant hub, I appreciated the ability to sit alone with my thoughts – or with no thoughts at all.

Before the lockdown, I barely mooched about the house for no reason or confined myself to my bedroom, but now that was all I wanted to do. I was happy for my friends to go out without me, living their best lives and snapping photos without me in the frame. I derived joy from skincare routines and consuming Netflix. The desire to go to a bar in the evening was almost anxiety-inducing. I became attuned to resting and sleeping when my body needed it the most. Was this related to the pandemic, or was it a sign I was getting older?

I wasn’t sure what to make of it all; it was as if the enforced social distancing made me care less about being seen or invited to gatherings. I was more secure in the notion that I was loved without proving myself or posting on social media. Less became more.

I now feel comfortable knowing I can again disappear from the face of the earth without the fear of missing out. Although catching up with my kind and brilliant friends still uplifts my mood, I now seek peace in solitude.

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