Social Distancing and the Introverted life

It is amazing to me how crazy self-quarantine and social distancing makes people. Our society is being flipped on its head because the world is made for extroverts. When there is a disaster, what do people do? They congregate, they come together, and they definitely don’t isolate themselves. 

The method to stem the spread of this virus is exactly the opposite of what is natural for society. However, introverts (like myself) are reveling in the copious amount of alone time. (I fully intend to spend time writing since I can’t do my real job and maybe by the end of this I’ll have a manuscript. One can dream!)

What does a day look like under quarantine?

I still have classes online. There are certain times when I still have to go online to meet with my classes. This is rather annoying to me. I find myself more likely to fall asleep. I have never fallen asleep during class before. However, the drone of an online class is enough to force anyone to sleep.

I am, also, reading a lot more. All of my books are back together after more than a year of only have a portion of my collection, we now share the same room. I am not sure if this is a benefit or a detriment. They whisper to me. Which is helpful with writing, to a degree, but is detrimental to my sleep. Last night, when I was trying to fall asleep, my mind was whirring and new ideas for my novels kept hitting my brain and I knew I needed to write them time because they would not remain until morning. All that to say, I am trying my best to take this extra time and use it to work on my stories and read books that have been on my TBR list for way too long. 

How am I affected as an introvert?

I thought that I would be completely unaffected, or be better off. However, I have realized that, although I love my alone time, people are a great source of inspiration and ideas. I need to observe the way that humans act and interact, which is difficult under quarantine. I, also, have trouble being stuck at home with two of my rather extroverted siblings. (my little sister, the social butterfly, is not fairing well which is in and of itself an interesting thing to study). 

How to roll with the punches

Every day it seems that there is a new development…or five. It can be a little bit overwhelming. However, for me, I just ignore most of it. We have been told to stay home and my schooling is all online. This means that I am stuck where I am, for the time being. Whenever things get to be too much, I just grab one of my books, curl up, and read. It calms me down and times flies more quickly when I read. Time, as a concept, under quarantine is an odd thing. It feels like there is tons of time but, at the same time, there is no time to do anything. Finding your new normal is the name of the game. Try to build a little structure in your day. I am working my way up to getting up between 4am and 5am so I can write before class and get in a quick workout. 

How to make a positive out of the chaos (I am feeding on the chaos)

Throughout this experience thus far, I have felt an odd sort of energy. My whole life I have felt like I was playing on autopilot. I am a survivalist who found survival too easy. There was no challenge (this may sound bad but I was bored). However, now we have something to struggle against, not as one country but as the world. Unfortunately, it is not something that you can really fight. I thought the “apocalypse” would be more interesting. I thought that I would be able to grab a baseball bat and hit the “beasts” that attacked us. There would be tactics involved. There would be things that I could actually fight. I can’t fight germs other than by staying inside, which feels like doing nothing. So, I am left with chaotic energy and being stuck inside (Side note: I am a true neutral but everyone who I asked about what they thought I was said I am chaotic evil without hesitation. This is interesting because that is how I wish to come off. Comment below if you would like a post dedicated to the 9 alignments). This means I need to channel that chaos into my writing and make it better through the energy. I would suggest finding something that that you find interesting, a creative outlet, and give yourself your own purpose in this “purposeless” downtime. 

What are some goals for this Quasi-break? (it’s not a real break because I have online classes. 

Write, write, write! I have to work on my stories. I am writing random scenes. Coming up with ideas. Cataloging. The other day I went through the 400+ notes on my phone and wrote down all my ideas on a “working ideas” google doc. That page is over seven pages and 3,000 words of just ideas. There is so much that I have going on in my mind that it can be difficult to sit down and actually start writing because I don’t know where to begin. Writing is something so deeply important to me and I am looking at this time as a gift for my writing. When else would I get so much time to just write? Take advantage of this time. 

READING! I have so many books that I have not had the time to read due to the copious amount of reading that I had to do for the honors college in school. Now I have time. The biggest issue is balancing my time between reading and writing. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in one or the other and I do not want to spend all my time reading because I have books to write. 

Other things 🙂 I want to do some art: sketching, painting, and crafts. I like to book bind, so I am working on that craft. Another thing that I want to spend some time on is exercise. It is necessary to keep moving. All of the other things that I mentioned doing were stationary activities and it is necessary to offset that by setting times to exercise and stretch deliberately.

What are you doing during quarantine? Are you reading or watching anything good? What creative outlets are you utilizing?

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Traveling With My Sisters (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

“I Read; I Travel; I Become” – Derick Walcott

Most of my traveling starts and ends between the covers and endpaper of my favorite books. However, there are times when it is necessary to move this corporeal body to a different location. And what does this mean? Airports. 

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to three different continents, eleven countries, and 29 states. These trips have been beneficial as I think about writing and what I now know of the world. So, although I enjoy the comfort of my own how, I see the value of travel and enjoy where I am when I get there.

Leaving New York

My grandparents drove us to the airport early in the morning and dropped us off. We did the normal waiting in lines, getting our tickets and giving our luggage, waiting in lines, going through security, finding our gate, waiting in lines, and then, finally, boarding the giant plain. Once we were on the plane we figured we would be off within the hour. However, this was not to be the case. There was ice on the plane and a false negative in one of the door locks so we sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours before we finally took off for our 14-hour flight. 

I was getting worried at this point because our layover in South Africa was only three hours. We figured we would make up time in the air but it proved not to be enough. We landed in South Africa and as we were waiting to get off the plane we knew that the chances of our getting on the next flight were slimmer and slimmer. Once we had gotten off of the plane we had to get on a bus when we asked the lady in charge and showed her our ticket she told us we should have been on the bus that had just left. So, we got on the next one. When we reached the airport a man with a walky-talky had us run through the whole airport to try to get on the flight. We had almost run through the whole airport when we were told that the flight had left. 

A Night in the South Africa Airport

As you can guess, there was no other flight to Livingstone that day. So, we were stuck in the airport for 24 hours. We got a room in the airport hotel and they gave us meal vouchers. This was helpful because we could get showers and work on switching to African time. We ate at the same restaurant for the next three meals and had to go through security every time we wished to eat. But, the beds were comfortable and the food wasn’t bad. 

Arrival: My Parents Waving Through the Open Gate

The next day we got on our plane. It was a short flight that had been the separation between us and Zambia. We were at the very back of the plane since we had been added late and there were 24 empty seats behind us. This was not a popular flight. 

We landed in Livingstone and went to get our visa. We were at the end of the line. By the time we got to the conveyor belt all of our bags were off the belt and sitting on the floor. We picked up our bags and put them on a trolley. Then we went to the gate and saw our parents waiting there for us. They had seen our plane land and cross the tarmac. It was lovely to see them but I was completely exhausted from all of the travel and the airports. 

Airports and People

I love watching people and observing them but I do not like crowds. It is interesting though, I enjoy airports when I have other people as a buffer. My sisters were there with me and I could get them to do most of the talking because they are extroverts. Until they decided to have me talk to the guy at the desk and ask him a question we had already asked and I knew the answer to. This is where there are conflicts and stress for an introvert such as myself. 

I do, however, enjoy imagining who people are, where they are from, and why they might be in the South African airport. Overall the travel on the way to Zambia was much less “introvert exhausting” than I had worried it would be prior to my travels. This step outside of my comfort zone was well worth it and showed me that all I really need is a travel companion. 

Where Else to Get Material for Stories and Observe People than in the Real World?

I have always found humans intriguing, that is part of why psychology and personality types are so interesting to me. I love to observe how family units interact, how couples argue, and how strangers become friends. I cannot do this within my own head and that is where the real world comes into play. 

As a writer, it is wonderful to take a moment outside of my head and see new sights, smell new smells, taste new food, and meet new people, no matter how exhausting it may be. I use everything I see as material for my stories and people in my life get roles in the theatre of my mind that spills onto the page. 

Where would you like to travel in the world? What world would you go to if you could jump into a novel? What is your favorite place in the world?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes