I live my life as a hermit. Staying hidden in my shell is where I feel the safest. I escape through books, videos, movies, games, music, podcasts, and daydreams. When I have to leave my comfort zone for work, I hide beneath books for temporary cover.
I ventured out of my shell all on my own accord once, for no other reason than to challenge myself to experience life firsthand and to mingle with others in society. It took courage and arduous effort. I exposed myself and peeled back the layers. It took a lot out of me and was extremely taxing, mentally and physically. During the times when it got too overwhelming, I scurried back into my shell, metaphorically — if there were no possible escape routes then, or physically — if said escape routes were accessible. But I was accused of being an escapist, of pretending to be someone else with others, when I was forcing myself to be out there, all bare and naked without a shell. So I retreated back into my shell, crestfallen and defeated that my efforts were for naught. I have not left since. I am encased in a metaphorical shell when I’m out, and I stay in my physical shell as much as I can.
I live my life in a shell, experiencing life vicariously through escapism.