In some instances, flying off the radar is necessary. Whether you’re settling into a new city, tending to family, or regrouping after a season of overload, for the most part, being MIA is justified. Even so, I’ve come to realize that there’s a fine line between taking time away out of necessity and taking time away (and subsequently choosing to stay away) because it beats the alternative. Over the last year and a half, I’ve traversed this line with ease, but some days, it leaves me feeling unsettled.
True enough, I’ve had plenty of reasons to be out of touch with my usual social circles, but if I’m honest, I’ve chosen to stay out of touch because I’ve grown accustomed to it. Most days, I don’t want to participate in conversations that force me to talk about where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. Additionally, I don’t want to get caught up in situations where I have one too many first encounters — the kind that typically result in the get-to-know-you/me type of conversations, which require far too much effort.
Somewhere along the line, flying off the radar — both physically and emotionally — became the norm, and now that I’m trying to increase my visibility and live more fully in the present, I feel somewhat crippled. Things that used to come natural to me feel more and more unnatural. Things that used to bring me joy, like inviting people into my world, make me feel anxious.
Throughout this season of my life, my core group of friends, or the people I like to call my teammates, have been my refuge. Although I can’t see or speak to them every day, for the most part, they understand where I am and don’t feel the need to push me further than where I want to go at this time. I’ve invited them to here and there, but they quickly remind me that it’s going to take some time before I feel like myself again — before I feel like I can fly more freely and openly in what used to be familiar territory…before I feel like I can trust again.
At the top of the year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I said to myself that I would take my life back and come out of hiding; however, when my extroverted-turned-introverted self realized how challenging this would be, I became frustrated and allowed fear to set in. The thought of being defined by the hurt that entered my life over a year ago, in the middle of what was already a difficult period, felt overwhelmingly scary. The thought of never feeling healed to the point of coming out of isolation felt like the unhappiest of endings — like I could disappear from this life, and out of pain (and the captivity thereof), never return.
Readers, this is where I am today, and I’m almost certain that I don’t want to stay much longer. TBC.