Working from home gives me great flexibility. I am not sure I could go back to a traditional office, ever. But essentially working alone all day kind of fucks with your head.
Social networks help. You can pop in and out, chat for a few minutes, see what is happening out there, get back to work.
The problem is, you live inside your own head a lot. Sometimes you don’t actually talk to a person outside your immediate family for days – or even weeks. You start wondering if you are reading things with a skewed perspective.
I know I have become more sensitive.
When I was in a regular office environment and went on vacation, the first day back was always weird. It was dumb, but I felt awkward for being gone – and it seemed like everyone was mad at me. More precisely, everyone had kept moving on without me.
Which wasn’t true at all, but I felt that way.
You get a variation of that when you work alone. You lose touch. You feel weird going out. You think people don’t want to see you. Again, dumb – but the truth. Tunnel vision.
I am lucky to have friends in all different worlds. PTA, music, neighborhood, tech, social media. Some overlap, some do not. It’s a wonderful thing to have such diverse people to hang out with but at times it feels lonely because there is no one “crew” to automatically join, no matter what. It was the same for me in high school; it’s funny how our habits follow us through life.
The problem with being in the tunnel is your perception is off. Both ways, I think. People wonder why I am being stand-offish when I feel left out. I watch groups of people laugh and force myself to go join in. Their world is way bigger than me, and they are not meaning to leave anyone out – they are just having fun.
One thing is clear, if I know you – I will want to include you.
Because being alone in the tunnel sucks.