I’m Honestly Not Sure When I’ll Be Ready to “Get Back Out There”

Things aren’t OK out there, and I can’t just pretend that they are.

Shannon Hilson
5 min readSep 25, 2022


Photo by Pille R. Priske on Unsplash

I live in Monterey, California, just a few blocks away from the very stage where Jimi Hendrix burnt his guitar onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival. The famed Monterey Jazz Festival is currently taking place right down the street at the very same venue. I love music — all kinds of music — and at one point, I also loved occasionally going to events like festivals to discover more of it.

But I’m still not down the street at the festival. Instead, I’m at home enjoying the fact that I can actually hear the music quite well from my office — a phenomenon my husband and I call “music on the wind” — and for now, that’s good enough for me.

Sometimes my husband and I check out live streams of various events online, just to experience a little bit of what’s going on. But I have to keep trying not to cringe at the fact that so few of the people I see are ever wearing masks despite the fact that COVID is still all over the place. (“The pandemic is over,” my ass.)

I’m trying not to think about how many of them might wind up deathly ill in a couple of weeks.

Maybe to them, feeling like everything’s A-OK when it’s actually anything but is worth the risk. But to me, it seems like nothing short of insanity. When I do go out, I recognize bits and pieces of the world I once knew extremely well. But it’s broken and skewed now in a way I’m worried will never be fixed. (Maybe I am, too, but that’s a whole other post for another day.)

That’s scary and depressing. And I have access to all the jazz I can possibly listen to at home. So, so much for jazz.

I’ve never been great about getting out and about

I’ve been introverted to a fault ever since I was a child. I’m also on the autism spectrum, so I’m fairly easily overstimulated and have always kind of preferred to stay home most of the time.

As an adult, I also set my life up so that I could technically stay home as much as I wanted. I make a good living working out of my home as a full-time freelance writer. I married a fellow neuroatypical…



Shannon Hilson

Pro copywriter and blogger. Midjourney enthusiast. Avid storyteller. She-wolf. | Email: bellingthecat@gmail.com | Links: https://linktr.ee/shannonhilson