I know I’ve mentioned my anxiety here, and you are all likewise aware that I am an introvert. These things combine fairly often to become more than a little toxic and have ended up with me not leaving my apartment more than once a week at most. I can easily go for several weeks without leaving our small home. Frankly, my circumstances make it easy.
My husband is very outgoing and gets a bit twitchy if he doesn’t get out into the crowds often. He’ll frequently just head out to the combini for a drink or over to the station to grab a cheap bento just to get out among other people, but me? I’m thrilled to get some peace and quiet at home, and I’ll often suggest he take our son with him, just for a short wander so I can get some serious alone time.
But this isn’t healthy in the long run. Humans are, after all, social animals. Not to mention the fact that if I want to write about people I need to be around people to know what I’m talking about. But… I live in Tokyo, and my Japanese is, um, not great. Language learning doesn’t come easily to me, and even after so long here, I’m not very good at the language which makes me both embarrassed at my lack of skill and frustrated at my inability to communicate.
Which keeps me inside.
Which I am fully aware is unhealthy.
So! I have decided that I’m going to Do Something About It. It’s not a resolution or anything like that, it’s more of a goal. We have trash day on Monday and Thursday, and the recycling goes out on Tuesdays. So. Every time I take out the trash or the recycling, I am going to take a short walk. Even if it’s just around the block, it will be outside in public, where other human beings can see me. I might even stop in at my local Lawsons, where they actually do recognize us (and they adore my son who managed to charm them early on.). That will be both leaving the apartment AND interacting with people! Primarily in Japanese, even! I’m hoping to work up to heading off to a coffee place and getting a breakfast set without my husband doing all the ordering for me. I know, lofty goals, right?
Honestly, it’s terrifying to me, and it’s well past my comfortable limits. Which seems stupid. It’s a convenience store and they know me, so why am I stressed out? Who knows? The human mind is a weird place and I sure don’t understand how it works. I just know myself and I know that if I don’t actually face this small thing, I really will end up becoming a hikkikomori, and I think that’s honestly more frightening.