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Muse #514 - is the pandemic truly over?
One of our neighbors organized a street party for several of the nearby houses to participate. And it was a test of our return to social skills. We did participate at the fringes being the good neighbor that we are. But personally, for me, it tested the limits of who I am.
I was certainly not ready for the mask-free engagement in large groups yet. Having survived the pandemic so far for over 30 months, I want to see how far I can personally take it without contracting the virus. Or who knows? Perhaps I have got it before and I was asymptomatic.
But this party really tested me in other ways other than the pandemic:
It showed me that I am not good at small talk.
It showed me that I was culturally indifferent and that I am not interested in several of the generic topics that people care about - including food, drinks, politics, sports, movies, children, and vacations. I generally struggled with caring and relating to these topics
It showed that my interests were extremely narrow - but I am not judging any of these as good or bad, but it did indicate that I did not fit several of the so-called norms.
I felt like the grumpy old professor kind in the Enid-Blyton novels that I used to read fifty years ago - the kind that always sat in their own personal office filled with books and did not care much to engage with the children and their shenanigans.
It also showed me what I long for - either to be in the groups and circles of people whom I can empathize and engage with - with whom I find comfort in being myself or in circles where I can teach and share my ideas and beliefs that help others in looking at themselves and their work from a multitude of perspectives that they have not considered. Anything other than these two seemed disinteresting to me, therefore I might be disinteresting to others when I do show up this way.
So in a way, the street party was good. It helped me look at mirrors that reflected who I am and in introspecting on whether I could show up in other ways at all. Yes, I realize that it is challenging to be me, but that is all I have, know and be. And potentially even be addicted to, in a way. And helps me to keep pondering about this, until the end of time.