After a year of staying secluded, I am strangely reticent to in person socialization. I will certainly need to brush up my skill of public interaction once my library opens to public in a week’s time. A year of being afraid of human contact has made me jittery if unknown people come near me, especially if they have their mask hanging by their chins or below their noses. I went to the city yesterday and I could not wait to jump in the car and drive back home. There were way too many people eating at restaurants, walking around with no mask on, laughing, singing, hugging. That used to be a good thing before pandemic. Right now, all these good gestures are freaking me out.
This morning I woke up with achy jaws. I was clenching my teeth last night. I do that when I am anxious. I am anxious about helping public again. The fear is not simply about my personal safety since I will have my second vaccine shot right before we reopen. I was analyzing my gut wrenching anxiety about facing public again and I realize I have grown to fear interaction with anyone outside my family or my colleagues in my safe work environment.
My favorite part of my job was interacting with customers and while we were working behind the scenes I missed that interaction. When our management declared we are opening, I was oddly energized that customers will come back to our beloved library for their needs for limited time slots. Yet as the day draws nearer, I am gripped with anxiety along with a surge of excitement about seeing people again.
Every change is somewhat anxiety provoking. And this too shall pass. I freaked out at the start of the pandemic when we pivoted to virtual and look at me now, facilitating classes in my pajamas (underneath a fancy sweater adorned for Zoom camera). All will be well. All will be well. Repeat! 🤣