For the past three years I’ve more or less been a hermit. I woke up, performed my morning rituals (internetting, coffee, watering plants, breakfast making), then maybe I went to school, maybe I did nothing, or I read, I roamed the isles of Target, then gymed, then went back home again. It was an easy lifestyle. It was a privileged lifestyle. Regardless of how weird or dull it made me, I was living it easy.
Mind you, I was broke and living in a poorly insulated wood framed house that let in all the seasons and weather conditions, but compared to other situations, it was ok. I had a garden, and a small stipend, and my scooter, and it was all that I needed. Plus, I had so much time! I could cook meals in the middle of the week. I could grow vegetables. I could take care of myself physically. But I was alone, and lonely, and maybe not getting as much personal work done (writing, nano, or otherwise) than what I wanted to. I spent a lot of time doing nothing, but it was ok. It felt ok.
Now that I’m working and living in a real world situation, I find that I’m still struggling with loneliness and time management but in a different way: Going to work makes me less lonely but not the from the good soul-restoring kind of human interaction that I want. I also have less time to do anything personally fulfilling or healthy such as work on my writing or cooking meals or working out. From eavesdropping and hearing people in my office– it seems that many people wake up at 5am to go to the gym, or the run or do other active things in the evenings after work. However, I can’t figure out how to do this. I’m so drained from being around people, being on a computer, and having a lack of privacy at work that I find that I’m spending most of my time at home recovering. Existing in a room full of people for 8-9 hours a day is exhausting! My body is sore from it. My hair and face get greasy from it.
I know that this can’t be a normal reaction to human exposure. I know that other people don’t feel this way. But knowing this doesn’t help my problem. When I get home from work I want to watch TV and speak to no one. I want to shower and be surrounded by fluffy clean things (blankets, pillows). I don’t want to move my body or read anything on a screen. I go to bed around 10 and wake up exhausted. My eyes hurt, my joints are sore. I wake up cranky and decrepit.
But does this happen to anyone else? Do other people’s bodies fail/reject the American office condition like this? My logic-brain tells me that I need to normalize this situation. I need to build patterns and schedules. I need to build up a resistance. But how does one do that? How does one acclimate to something so unnatural as being around people? Or sitting at a desk staring at a screen? Or anything that is not for one’s self? And OH YES, i know these questions are selfish! I am explaining how reclusive and selfish I am!
I do see these questions and think: ah this is all normal! This is the struggle of people who work everywhere! But is it? Time management was something I struggled with before leaving for a second round of school, but the human problem wasn’t. I had my own office before and I frequently escaped to my apartment during lunch. So I am still left wondering how do people do it? How do people make time for everything? And how do you make time when you want to physically reject the world?