As I am currently writing this, I find myself sitting on my sofa, covered in a blanket on a Friday night. It might not sound exciting, but it is as good as it will get for me tonight. Unfortunately, I have been chained to my apartment since the beginning of the new year, when I found out I tested positive on my COVID test. I am very grateful to only have mild symptoms, but was nevertheless hoping to spend the beginning of 2022 in a different way.
The contrast is so huge; dining together with family members during the holidays compared to being in Amsterdam all by myself. It is comforting to see that many are in similar situations, also sitting behind their desks and making the best of the situation in quarantine. Sadly that doesn’t make it easier to be by yourself. An issue I have acknowledged more and more, recently.
My boyfriend also tested positive, so he was with me for the largest chunk of the self-isolation period. He actually just went home, since he got out of quarantine earlier, so I haven’t even been by myself for more than 3 hours or so. Therefore really having nothing to complain about. Though I can’t help to feel strange about the fact that I will be alone for the coming days.
I always have to get used to the silence, the emptiness in the apartment and the complete surrender to myself. It gets better, after a while. Usually after the first night of sleeping alone, I wake up feeling very inspired and energized, knowing that I can fill in the day to come exactly the way I would like it. In a way, there is something very exciting about that, if boredom wouldn’t kick in so soon :).
As I go about my day, I notice that it feels good to get the things that I want to do off my to do list, especially when I am doing schoolwork or have to go to work, that’s ideal. However, in this situation we have neither. My winter break ends when my quarantine ends, so I don’t have online school, and my work shifts got cancelled because of the new lockdown as well. Going places and coming home to myself is no problem for me, what I have found to be the real problem, is the lack of interactions in situations like these. That somehow drains me more than I expected.
I always used to think I was more of an introverted type of person, when I was younger. I was good at working independently, doing fun things alone and spending time in my own bubble. Even now, that sometimes still feels good and provides me with a moment of recharging. Over the past few years, I have however noticed that these things don’t weigh up to what I feel when I surround myself with other people.
When I go to work, I briefly talk to all of my colleagues. Even if it is just small talk, it always adds to my day; simply being happy to see someone and seeing that they have been doing well is important for me. This also goes for when I attend my tutorial groups at university; laughing in between studying, sharing thoughts and discussing course material together always adds something to my day and broadens my perspective. I suppose getting out of my own bubble of thought and receiving input from others is just really valuable, something I realize more and more during these times.
With moving out, you are obviously exposed to a lot of different people and new faces, I have found some very friendly ones and am very happy with the friendships I have created here so far. I did notice that I really enjoyed the process of meeting new people and making new friends at the end of summer, so that is something that I want to continue doing in order to hopefully create a handful of people I can happily share my life with here.
Since building new connections is something so crucial for me, I will do some research on the best ways to connect and make new friends. I will share my findings in a blogpost that will be uploaded soon.
See you then!