In everything that is temporary there is something substantial that sits with you, changes you, that holds on. In every dark situation, a mountain in your way, a death, a departure, a breakup, or an ending, there is goodness to be found, a light. There is always lightness amongst the dark, as if shining a flashlight towards the path best taken, leading you towards your most grounded self during times of chaos. If you so wish.
We are all living in the upside down right now; what we know and knew no longer matters. Our current mindset and day to day habits are being reprogrammed, adjusting the stretch that our subconscious can take. Right now, as I sit in my tiny Manhattan apartment, pup at my feet, I know that NYC has about 1/3 of the entire nation’s coronavirus cases as of today. I also know that many industries, mine included, are or will be, greatly impacted by COVID-19, causing the loss of jobs, and putting a pause on many people’s lives. The darkness.
It is easy to panic, it is easy to prepare, but in reality, our best option is to stay calm and wash our goddamn hands. There is so much information out there that it almost seems there is no information at all. Personally, I’ve stopped reading and just go straight to the source, texting my doctor friends with dumb questions, concerns, and check ins, for those who don’t have access to face masks on the front line. (Is the fatal battle this virus, or our infrastructure?)
It is ok to sit in what you are feeling, exist in the fact that it’s scary, stressful, and frankly, it blows. Settle into that place, breathe, and recognize it. Good. Now recognize the fact that you can’t do shit about the current circumstances we are in. You can’t do shit but wash your hands, distance yourself from people, and utilize this time the best you can.
During the first week in quarantine I panicked, I didn’t realize how much of an extrovert I was until I didn’t have the option to go to work, realizing I love my job and my coworkers. I didn’t have the option to go on dates, or meet my girlfriends for wine, go to a museum, or even stand closely to people at the grocery store. Every night I would read the New York Times, tracking the rapid growth of this unexplored virus, having a minor panic attack as I realized that NYC was much worse off than most cities in the US. Then, about a week in I realized something. I’ve never had the option to stay inside for a week straight, work from home, and not go out, anywhere, not socialize. I’ve never not worn makeup for a week straight, or not gone to my Pilates studio, or not hugged another human being for this long. I’ve never examined myself under these circumstances because I’ve never had to, but this is where the light comes in. Unexpectedly.
There are parts of ourselves, creative, emotional, silly parts, that we may only see under certain circumstances. After my temporary freak out, I’ve found that quarantining, while isolating and a little scary is peaceful. You are allowed to sit without interruptions, without having to leave to do something, see someone, pick up your dry cleaning, or be expectant in any way. You can truly see yourself in every glory, in every facet, whether you want to or not. The light. Focus on the light. Write that poem you’ve always had in your head, finish that movie, attack that deadline, start that business, get that job, take that bubble bath(shower), finish writing your book, paint that painting, and nap when you need to.
As humans we were built on a history of need. History shows that before iPhones, Trader Joes, and Netflix, we farmed, sewed, built, created and hunted as needed. But what of our souls in the 21st century? How are we finding fulfillment when so much of our lives and our days are planned out for us, not necessarily filling us up how we need? The light in the darkness of COVID-19 is that even if just a little, we get to temporarily, and without restraint (as long as it’s inside our homes lol) fulfill our souls in ways we didn’t know we needed to.
In this crazy time, in the upside down, try to stay in the light for as long as you can. And if you live in NYC, please stand 6 feet away from me.
It will all be OK, Oni~