I am mildly agoraphobic.
Isn't everybody? At least a little?
There was a TV show called 'Sisters' back in the 90s, and one of the husbands would never wear anything but his PJ's and a robe. He would only go as far from the house as the mailbox. Even in my closeted pre-teen sense of the world, I could tell he wasn't a lazy person. He was comfortable within a certain zone and fearful of anything outside of it. I can totally relate to that guy.
I always prefered to think of myself as a free spirit, hippy, go-with-the-flow kind of person. And a part of me is, or still wants to be. But the more time passes, the more I realize that I am a creature of habit, comfortable and satisfied in the every day routine. Sometimes it feels like a warm blanket and sometimes it feels like an anchor. It takes constant work to keep it on the lighter side.
I can even see it looking back to my teen years. I was content to stay in on Friday nights watching TV with my sister and my mom (hence the previous reference to 'Sisters,' which was on Friday nights). It's amazing I was able to keep friends with the number of times I cancelled plans at the last minute. It was sort of a running joke with them. But they kept inviting me out, as unreliable as I was. I should send them all a thank you note and a hug for that.
Nowadays, I prefer to stay in our house or yard. A stroll around the neighborhood or trip to Target is nice, as long as both Tony and Des are with me. If I leave the house without one or both of them, there is always anxiety. It's not crippling or severe. It's just there, like an itch I can't scratch. I've learned to ignore it most of the time.
A good friend of ours, Chad, is almost the complete opposite. He has lived all over the world, from New England to the West, from Eastern Europe to New Zealand, and traveled everywhere in between. He can't seem to stay in one place for very long. He's a professional couch-hopper, takes little jobs to get by, and he can carry everything he owns in a backpack. It's a fascinating, admirable way to live. And it's totally alien to me.
He recently came back to New England for a few weeks and just left to head out West again the other day. It was so nice having him here, but we knew he wouldn't/couldn't stay. We'll miss him and his lovely girlfriend, Janka. I think saying goodbye to them has sparked this bit of self reflection.
This weekend I have plans that involve me driving a few towns away. Saturday I'll take Des with me, Sunday I'll be alone. I've been looking forward to these plans for weeks, but now that it's here I'm trying to come up with excuses to just stay home wrapped in a blanket with my boys. Same old story.
Also with the passing of time comes a stronger sense of self-awareness and maturity. So I will make myself go. And I'll have a good time, as I almost always do... it's just hard to see through the fog sometimes.