March 24th, 2020: Day 8 of my Absolute, Now-Government-Mandated Quarantine//Day 14 of my School’s Earlier, Precautionary One.
Photography by Ami J. Sanghvi
Today commences my eighth entry of this sort, so imagine my surprise when I noticed an email from one of my professors assigning us a “Social Distancing Diary.”
At first, I was amused. I figured I could just turn these entries in for credit…
Then, I reconsidered.
These entries all have very little to do with social distancing, and if they do, they barely even touch on the topic; I am potentially too comfortable with my loneliness, isolation, and independence. This quarantine feels as natural to me as drinking water after a long, hot day in the July sun.
In turn, I’ve hardly written anything about what it means to be socially distant during this time, let alone given it much thought over the past week and a half. Refusing to confront my fears and feelings has been my game for a long time now; soft, human sentiment is the unwelcome beast residing quietly and discreetly in the dark depths of my soul. I roll my eyes at the word “tender,” and pretend the very thought of it doesn’t hurt my stomach; I joke my way through giving someone a compliment or, worse yet, someone giving me a compliment; I move away from my phone when I’m not feeling steady, and I barely reply to my messages even when I am.
Perhaps I need this “Social Distancing Diary” pretty badly. That’s why, in addition to this blog, I started one today. It starts a little something like this:
“I won’t pretend I haven’t been blogging, or else journaling in the form of a blog, for some eight days now.”
Will I ever share it with the people it’s about?
Writing about people is difficult, but telling them how I feel is potentially the most challenging thing of all. I imagine that’s why I need this “Social Distancing Diary,” though.
This is my opportunity to break out of my mold and grow in all the glorious ways I’ve refused myself over the past few years. Just because I’m emotionally adjusted doesn’t mean I’m emotionally available…
And that, my friends, might just be a problem.