Lockdown turned me into an introvert and I’m never going back

Fleeing the four walls of my shared flat in South London, I threw myself on the mercy of my mum and dad. I didn’t realise how much I craved solitude until I arrived in their Somerset village, but have spent these past months in splendid isolation. What one might call a ‘young professional’, it’s extraordinary how quickly I retreated back to my childhood self after returning to the family home. While everyone was doing Zoom quizzes and mastering the art of sourdough, I was busy being antisocial – rediscovering my inner introvert, and realising I actually quite like her. She was the girl who hid under the bed every time anyone knocked on the door and went beetroot if a boy so much as looked at her (still do, if I’m honest). Ironically, my most profound experience of loneliness occurred when I moved to London – a city of almost nine million. Villages are secluded by their very nature and yet I feel less alone when I’m in one – surrounded by trees and fields, instead of four walls. Forfarmers working alone all day, oldies whose loved ones have moved away, and teenagers trapped at home with (god forbid) their parents – the isolation can feel oppressive. But for the last few months, I've quite enjoyed being a 27-year-old teenager, living out lockdown in the hotel of mum and dad. I’d give it three stars and suggest they get a new cook, but it's been refreshing to cut myself off from the commotion of city life. Without the distractions of meetings and meet-ups, I've read books, run, written and taken stock of my life’s components, deciding what I want to keep, and what can be cast away. Relying completely on external sources can ironically make me lonelier, because as soon as they’regone, I feel bereft. Really, I’m neither an introvert nor an extrovert (nor a Duracell bunny) but an overindulged pet cat – craving human affection but also demanding her own space.