Emerging from the cave
There's no avoiding people though, no matter how hard you try, and Real Life People do care about you and wonder where you've gotten to, particularly when you've disappeared for a few months. So when I emerged from the cave this weekend, I was immediately bombarded and subsequently quickly overwhelmed. Indeed, I believe the number of social interactions I've had in this past week alone have outnumbered all of them from the past few months of summer. But even at this point - only midweek - I'm exhausted. I'm tired of shouting over too-loud-music and being shoved and poked and prodded every which direction. I'm beat down from being "on my game" and paying close, close attention to what everyone is saying (and also what they're not saying).
Maybe one needs to practice being social. Maybe one needs to build up the stamina, like training for a marathon. Maybe I shouldn't have jumped back into things, both feet first, and just stuck my toe in the water as an initial test. All I know is, tonight I'm scurrying back into my cocoon, chrysalis, cave and staying here until the shadows stop moving and the roar of noise dies down.