If you’re anything like me, then this quarantine has been nothing short of a nightmare. The lively city you loved became an out of place empty shell for dog walkers and vagrants. You long for the everyday antics and inspiration you would see while walking through NYC on your way to work. You miss wine tasting, airports, and travel. You miss dating and dancing and going to the theater. You miss adventures. What you don’t miss are sweatpants- the sweatpants you never even owned prior to quarantine, but that have become your new go to, replacing dresses, heeled boots and possibly a Gucci clutch. What has happened to you? But now, now things are coming to a close. The insanity of the past year, the year we all lost, has begun to normalize some. You see an end in sight. But do we even remember what life was before? How to socialize, how to live without fear, how to shake hands with out quivering? What will it be like when I have the option of staying at a bar past 11pm? Will I go home and fall asleep on my couch at 11:15 while watching reruns of Stranger Things because my brain has been rewired? There is one thing however that I wouldn’t give back- regardless of the fact that many health professionals(And NPR) have written about the stress of 2020 quarantine shortening our life expectancy- NBD. I wouldn’t give back the time. The time I’ve gotten to reflect without the noise, whether I wanted it or not. The time I’ve gotten to struggle through the pain of the outside world, and in reflection the pain of my own experiences, whether I wanted it or not. The next generation will not get that time. Will not be able to sleep in and work in their underwear, and cry about killer wasps before their 4pm Zoom call. We have all been forced upon by time in the most unexpected of ways and it’s a blessing. Reflecting upon where we are in our lives, what type of humans we have become, and how valuable we are to society within our endeavors and experiences. The rapid growth that occurs during a time that would normally be spent working, traveling or communicating with others is ultimately invaluable.
But will we miss the days of sleeping in until 8 instead of 6? Or will we be filled with so much joy at the thought of normalcy that waking up early for Pilates and getting stuck in the rain will no longer phase us? Perspective is everything. Sooner than later, the jam packed, overexerted, extremely productive WFH day-to-day will be no more. Socializing by the office espresso machine and gossiping after Monday meetings will become the thing again. We are all starved for what I like to call "stupid daily interaction". The days where we spent two hours at the dog park catching up with old friends over coffee on that random spurt of sunshine in the middle of winter on a Tuesday- no more. Banana bread bakes, multiple movie nights, Netflix releases, and many, many cocktails on Zoom calls- bye bye. Will we miss the calm- or will we go on like nothing really happened?
The motivation I once lost from plain fear, denial, and depression hit a peak a while back allowing me to climb down from my ladder of sad superiority. I realized that it will all be O.K. We are slowly allowing ourselves to be human once again, have hope, and see a future beyond the pandemic. Motivation for motivations' sake is clawing back in and allowing room for non-work-related things. Life will soon be whole again. Where everything was once on pause, we will soon be able to click “Play”. But, what side of the cassette tape will you be on?
It will all be OK, Oni~