To all of my fellow friends out there that can’t quite grasp the recognition of your own worth and strengths: this one is for you.
I seemed to have lost control of my emotions; it feels as though my life has been swallowed up, and I am merely floating in some sort of empty space.
I had to take a mini break from blogging, because I have been unable to form my feelings into words. I barely can do so now, but knew writing would help to decompress my thoughts. (Long story short, sorry in advance if this post is a bit scattered.)
Over the past few weeks, my perspective of my day to day life has changed drastically. Major stressors have consumed my existence, and with that, I feel as though I have been forced to grow up overnight.
I miss being able to hug my family members. I miss smiling at familiar, unmasked faces on my college campus. I miss screaming at concerts until I have no voice left, as I move in sync with sweaty bodies around me. I miss cozy sleepovers filled with hysterical laughing fits. I miss being able to spontaneously leave my house, without needing a real reason why. I miss sitting in classrooms with my peers. I miss seeing others in person. I miss browsing at the grocery store without worrying about bringing a deadly sickness back home to my loved ones. I miss not having to live in constant fear about the state of the world around us.
It’s no secret, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Schools and work places have gone online, people are confined to their homes, and everyone seems to be on edge. Though, if you read my last blog post, you’ll know I am not one to sulk in sadness. Rather, I try to look on the bright side of every (and I mean every) situation. Do I regret all of the little things that I had taken for granted in the months leading up to this crisis? Absolutely. Have I been continuously thinking about what life would be like right now if we weren’t in quarantine? Without a doubt. Have I let these thoughts consume my mind in its entirety? Some days it feels this way.
However, if I have learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that no aspect of life should taken for granted. (Not once did I expect to yearn for the opportunity to put away my groceries without having to wipe them down first.) Thus, I’ve been trying to be more appreciative of all of the little things around me.
And, to push this one step further and counter these feelings of despair, I have given myself a task.
It seems like the world has come to a temporary halt. I’m not sure about all of you, but these past few months have felt like I’ve been living in a dream that I can’t seem to wake up from. (Though, not the good kind of dream, of course.) Even with things slowly starting to open back up, these feelings haven’t lessened any.
Wherever you’re from, whatever your current living situation may be, please know my heart goes out to you. I am thinking of all of those who have gotten sick/know someone who has, those who don’t have a good home life and are stuck in a toxic environment, those surviving off of what little food is left in the house, those who have lost their source of income and are unsure of how to pay their bills now, those whose mental health feeds off of social interactions, those whose major plans have been drastically changed or cancelled, and those who are just struggling to cope during these weirdly terrifying times.
I’ll be honest– waking up everyday, I am hit with a feeling of helplessness. The things I’ve been looking forward to for months– concerts, vacations, my summer job– all have become a source of sadness as each and every one became cancelled. And yes, I am completely aware that these “hindrances” that I’ve listed may seem like shallow, first-world problems, but everyone deserves a right to their feelings.
However, as with everything, I always push to look on the positive side of any situation. Although the current state of the world is worrisome, exhausting, and simply scary, there are still things we can do to help our mental states. If you’re sick of everyone being overly optimistic in times like these, then feel free to hop off. I am not saying everything is going to be okay and disregarding all of the damage being done to practically every aspect of life. However, I also am not going to sit here and let it get the best of me.
So, if you’re having trouble finding ways to alleviate some of your anxieties, here are few things that I’ve personally done at home that are helping me to stay as sane as one can while in quarantine.
Close your eyes and think back to your last trip to a restaurant. You and your closest friends all squeeze together, practically on top of each other inside a cozy booth, as menus are passed around the table. The options seem endless. You have no idea what you’re in the mood for, though, your stomach is teased by the juicy scent of a meat-lovers’ pizza crisping in the oven. The restaurant is bustling with people laughing and chatting. You look around to see what others have ordered: gooey garlic bread; heaping mounds of buttery, twisted pasta; a sizzling slightly-pink steak. Your stomach grumbles in its empty state. Flash forward and its past dinnertime. Your bellies are slightly rounder and filled with carbs, but now your tastebuds crave sweetness. You stand in line outside on this warm spring evening, waiting for your mint ice cream to be handed to you. Couples and giddy children huddle beside you underneath the light of the shack, as they share chocolatey licks of their cones and spread ice cream around their lips.
Now, forget everything you have just imagined. Picture the opposite. Picture restaurants with giant “CLOSED” signs dangling in their windows in the middle of the day. Picture vacant parking lots and barren streets. Instead of bumping into neighbors and sharing friendly conversations at your local supermarket, you’re now rushing down the aisles in hopes of avoiding all contact. The shelves look as if they were ravaged through by animals. Bread and eggs have suddenly become a scarcity. People’s faces are draped with tight surgical masks, bandanas, old scarves, or anything else they could find to cover their mouths. Bare hands are a rarity, and instead they’re now hidden behind rubber barriers. This is the current state of the world that we’re living in today, and it feels like a scene straight out of a horror movie.
Because the glass isn’t half-empty, you’re just more hydrated now.
It is the middle of January in New England, yet it was a balmy 60 degrees the other day. Although this is a sure sign of climate change, I took advantage of the warming Earth and went walking with my dogs.
It was when I was walking my big lug of a Bernese Mountain Dog, Darla, that I seemed to have a moment with myself. I suddenly had felt the urge to stop in the middle of the road and close my eyes. I’m not sure if it was the sun beaming onto my face or the wind’s warm gusts, but in that moment, everything felt at peace.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
It has been months since I last wrote a post on here. Although it makes me feel decently ashamed of myself for not keeping up with something I truly love doing, I need to accept that this whole blogging/writing/journaling thing will take a bit of time to get the knack of. It is a learning curve, after all.
Excuses for why I haven’t been writing are unnecessary. Life happens, priorities get off track. All that matters is that I’ve come back to it and have not given up blogging for good.
Transitions are tough. Whether you’re going into your second year of high school, your first year of college, or even your fifth year of college, the transition from summer break to the fall semester is justifiably difficult.
Some people do have an easier time with adjusting than others, but I, on the other hand, am just awful at change. I like having all of my ducks in a row and knowing what step is coming next. However, when you’re starting brand new classes with new classmates and new professors, you can’t exactly align your ducks ahead of time.
Now, there are plenty of ways to prepare for the transition back into school that truly do make the adjustment period go by a bit more smoothly, but… I still get overly stressed about it.