But Amber, getting out of the house is super fun, that wouldn’t take too much work would it?
If I was a more outgoing person and naturally enjoyed being out my room, sure. I’ve always been that person who could be locked up in her own room for pretty much ever and be perfectly content to do nothing but write, sleep, and maybe play some video games. I do have to force myself to text my friends most of the time- not because I don’t love them, I truly do, but because I am perfectly content being alone (as long as I can be productive).
Regardless, I am a firm believer in the idea that ‘alone’ was not the way that life was meant to be experienced. If it was, God would have made me and only me. (I may not agree with His sense of humor, giving me no desire to be with other people and yet putting me in a situation that begs me to be with other people, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.) Being as I am just one individual in this cosmic whole, it is my responsibility to connect myself to the whole, to immerse myself in the community.
Sometimes, I enjoy it. Nights when I go dancing at the Rose with my friends, or get to go to a small house party or new movie. I don’t regret leaving the house, and I feel good about it. Other times, I hate it so much I taste acid. These are the nights when we go out to sketchy bars or to a crowded party where I only know one or two people (and often there is pot around, which I really, really don’t like the smell of) or dragged to some celebration where I know there are people there who don’t like me or we had a falling out or there’s no set plan for the evening or people invite me to hang out only to zonk out in front of the television and completely ignore the fact that I’m there…. you get my drift. With my autism, I often lean towards anxiety about these sort of things- I weigh the numerous bad experiences against the ‘few’ good experiences and nearly talk myself out of leaving my safe, cozy room. Just thinking about all the ways that ‘going out’ could go very wrong, I freeze up.
What keeps me going out, time after time, is this simple realization: I would be a horrible writer if I stayed locked up in this room. I’d become one of those self-absorbed, self-righteous writers that I hated in high school, loathed in college, and still like to pretend don’t exist today. For me, a lot of writing (especially with poetry) is about taking your life experiences and condensing them into a kind of pure image for others. Those readers in turn adopt those images into their own plethora of experiences and, if the experiences together are rich enough, there occurs a broadening, brightening and deepening of one’s understanding of the human experience as a whole. I would consider this to be one of God’s greatest gifts to His creation: little collaborative glimpses into the grace of eternity.
That’s what I want to be a part of. I don’t much care for the party scene, for drinking or for being seen. But if I can see just a little bit more of the world, if I can learn a new nuance of humanity, I’m going to muscle through it. I don’t ever know if the experience of getting out of the house will rejuvenate me, or just drain every strand of emotional energy that I have left. It’s always a toss up. But I have decided that in either case, getting out, giving in to the cosmic mess that is being with other people, is worth the pain just as much as it is worth the potential grace.
What do you do to ‘get out of the house’?