I have been venturing out into the real world in small situations. Dipping my toe in the pool of life, so to speak. It has been exciting and anxiety-ridden all at once. It is strange to me how things that were once so normal are now met with equal parts of nervousness and joy. I find myself holding myself in check, holding back, assessing all the angles and situations.... I have become like one of those TV spies..... checking how many people are there? can I safely go this way? should I approach this person? is this person showing signs of illness? and the list goes on and on.
I spend time wondering if this is my new normal. Will I remember this as the time that I became anxious, that I stopped giving hugs when I greet people? Is this when I changed? Is this when I stopped running into the store for every little thing? Is this when people stopped giving handshakes or gathering in large groups? Is this when school became different? I would really like a crystal ball to answer these questions!
Maybe what this dipping of my toe kind of caution is a way for me, and everyone else, to adjust to facing uncertainty head-on. Maybe small doses of normal are how I build back up to normal life. Maybe I learn to let go of what may be and embrace what is happening now. Maybe I put faith in my fellow community members that they too are trying to ease back into society. Maybe in time, testing the waters will seem like the right thing to do.
So, I will keep venturing out. I will wear my mask and wash my hands every chance I get. I will learn new ways of greeting people. I will learn to have happy eyes and a joyful voice until I can stop wearing a mask. I will embrace this shallow end until I am ready (and the world is ready) for the deep end.