To everyone who wants to see me now

A girl is making selfie

After the pandemic, it can be challenging to put yourself out there again for people to see. We understand how the distance has been nice.

Ding—ding—ding—ding. I get text messages from four separate individuals who want to catch up within four minutes. In the inner corners of my eyes, tears hit hot, and I snap the screenshot as if I need an overwhelming receipt. All these people want to see me!

Recently, my box has unread news, pushy e-mail marketing, countless suggestions on videos and songs, and friends’ requests to meet together. On the spots. Publicly available to see. Los Angeles is starting to reopen slowly – albeit it doesn’t happen all over the planet. Such “open” signs flash before me as every notice on my phone blinks, and they are almost as unwanted to me, at least. 

Hard to See Me Now

All appear to call my name and strive to fill a portion of my attention. The dusty dry cleaning bag that has been tucked beneath my bed, my optometrist, and long-distance pals. (What’s there even?) There is a specific ache in knowing that I have been reprimanded for too long by my dentist. The things that I have to do mingle in bitter medication with the things that I want to and people I see. 

I know it’s going to be excellent – seeing my pals (and cleaning my teeth) — but the shock feels too much to deal with. A sugar spoonful won’t assist the reentry medication. 

Because I shouldn’t make up this lost time and plunge courageously in if I’ve done it over the last year? Only when I stand is there exhausted and return to life “normal.” Instead, I’m holding my stay-at-home routine. 

Before staying home, I attempted to take myself all over, and a few breadcrumbs grounded my future self. This was a way of saying that I was here, and comfort is here for me. I gave the places I liked a piece of my attention, stretched my thoughts over lines I would check in with friends and relatives. I even offered my brain compartment for my journey. Before I had one, I nourished my routines like a sauce starter. 

I noticed how dispersed I was when I took the needed pause. 

Then I started to gather myself. The yoga studio, the new-closed brasserie, and the office—they all merged in a pair of sweatshirts on my sofa, which formed a whole and restful individual for all to see. I discovered new activities, a consistent social routine, lamented losses, and spent hours investigating my very inner world, maybe over too many. 

It is time to go back to the locations that I formerly visited. I know I can’t always remain at home. I have to reconnect with others, and they see my heart pain — but in the process, discomfort and deconstruction are going to take place.