Trying to Unturtle

A turtle hiding in its shell with an arrow point it to labeled "me."

I’ve always been an introvert, but when the pandemic hit, I took it to a whole other level. Like a turtle retreating into its shell, I basically disappeared into my fortress of solitude and lost contact with the outside world—including most of my friends.

The only reason I didn’t become a complete hermit is that my best friend is a huge extrovert and likes to talk on the phone. And my brother. He likes to talk on the phone, too. I’m pretty sure he’s adopted. 😉

Without them continuing to reach out even though I rarely reciprocated, it would’ve just been me and Mr. M in our own little bubble. And even though I always think, oooh, I should check on X, time seems to slip away, and then it’s been three months… then six… then a year, and I’ve yet to check on X.

But we’re starting to see an end to the pandemic on the horizon. More people are getting vaccinated. Travel is picking up. And there’s no reason to continue to turtle, at least not quite as hard, but changing a year-plus habit is hard.

I’ve been meaning to reach out to friends for weeks, literal weeks, and I’ve yet to get it done. It doesn’t help that I’m also on deadline again, which comes with its own brain fog.

I guess I don’t really have a point to this ramble (sorry! see: deadline brain), but if you’ve been turtling, too, know you’re not alone. And I hope my friends don’t blame me for disappearing, just like I don’t blame them. We all did what we had to do to make it through.

Here’s to many happy reunions as we all emerge from our shells and re-establish contact. :)

5 thoughts on “Trying to Unturtle”

  1. I, too, am a turtle. I definitely got worse about turtling during the pandemic. We finally had our first (mostly socially distanced, mostly outside, everyone except for one person fully vaccinated) get together, and the anxiety was horrible. These past two years will show more negative effects other than the increased urge to turtle. Thanks for sharing your story, and for writing all your lovely and adventurous stories for us to read!

  2. Me too! I have just started making plans to go out to lunch with small groups of friends (1 or 2) at a time. We’ll get there. :-)

  3. “Turtling” – love it. With a kid and a stressful work from home job, I’ve opted to continue the turtling. But we are planning our first international vacation to visit my college best friend. So I figure that one week of travel is going to make up for a whole year of continued hermit hood… least it balances out in my turtle mind.

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