Welcome to 2022. We're living in a mostly post-pandemic world, but new anxieties have burrowed their way into our lives.

Anyone who knows me can easily classify me under the category of "social butterfly." I'm a night owl and attention seeker with crippling FOMO (fear of missing out) who has never had an issue with conversation. When it comes to large crowds, New Bedford's Madeira Feast is a walk in the park.

At least that's how I was. All that and more was me from pre-2020. Fast-forward to today and Houston, we have a problem.

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You see, ever since the cooped-up days of pandemic boredom and uncertainty, I've noticed an unsettling pattern when venturing out to events, concerts or even something as silly as the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island.

My fiancee and I have been planning a night out for weeks. From the moment we bought our tickets to this pumpkin event, I was very much looking forward to checking out the incredible carvings and designs that local artists spend hundreds of hours creating.

That is until I was confronted with thousands of patrons who also had the terrible idea of purchasing prime-time Friday night tickets.

It was of the busiest times to attend, especially with Halloween just a week away.

I'm not quite sure what triggered my anxiety, but an overwhelming rush began to take over and I found myself wanting to go home. It's a rush that comes up when I have to wait in a long line or when I'm stuck or when I have to move at a slower-than-desired pace.

During the pandemic, we got used to the "new normal." Little did I know that new normal would alter my internal algorithm when it came time to mingle again.

Am I alone on this matter?

I'd love to know I'm not alone on this. Is it just a phase? Will it pass? Write to me at Gazelle@Fun107.com.

I'll be waiting for your response, only this time from the comfort of my living room rather than a packed bar.

20 Things To See at Roger Williams Park (Other Than the Zoo)

There are over 427 acres of beautiful landscaping, historical buildings and family friendly spaces at Roger Williams Park in Providence. Gifted to the city in 1872 by the last descendant of Roger Williams, Betsey Williams, the park has become primarily known for its amazing zoo. But throughout this historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, there are plenty of other stunning things to see.

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