Updated: Oct 9
At first, the lockdown was a shock - to the country, the city, us. Like, what?! I can’t go anywhere I want whenever I want? What? I can’t just go visit my family and friends and Elsa and Goldie’s and Sweet Chick? What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do without fried chicken at a table by the bar?
But, slowly, like resilient humans that we are, we adapted. We brought the fried chicken home. It’s not as good that way, but whatever. We built a whole new life for ourselves everyday, and so suddenly. Wake up late, eat a big breakfast, answer some emails, stream a show… then another. Soon, we had a pretty solid life. And to some of us, it was delicious. It was for me. I can spend days and weeks living in my own mind easily.
And then it came: the cities are gradually reopening and we can now kind of sort of a little bit reengage with society. Another adjustment! And out of our hard-fought comfort zone of solitude. But there’s still a lot going on. People are losing their tempers because someone is wearing or not wearing a mask, eating at a restaurant, and on and on. We’re all still so stressed, and rightfully so.
We are resilient, strong, adaptable but still human. That means we’re also frail, hanging on by the thread, barely making a step, skittish and cringing and antsy. We are all that too. No one can see what it took to get from one point of this pandemic to the other. No one can hear the thoughts that helped us through all those adjustments.
It could have been the words of a pilates instructor: “Go! Go! Keep going! You can do it!”
Or the words of a celebrity: “I just sip on chamomile, breathe in some lavender and soak in a bath for hours.”
Or an echo from our childhood: “What are you crying for? You know we have to brush your teeth every night.”
Or teenhood: “What do you think is going to happen without hard work? You will only get what you want if you work hard and succeed.”
We put all those voices together and make the best of it. But we also know that the moments alone, when it was quiet and there wasn’t anything to do, we had our own present voice. And we did succeed. We are still here.
It’s a good, if not important, time to figure out what has gotten you this far. What healthy coping mechanisms have you used? What unhealthy coping mechanisms have you used? Life can be quite fulfilling without the daily busyness. Moments with our loved ones all around us all day, playing games and making dinner together can be precious. That nature is incredibly beautiful when we take the time to enjoy it. It’s a balance that we can strive for. We give ourselves that delicious time alone with our favorite book or hobby and then we can expand our heart to spend time with our family and the rest of the world. Expand, contract - it’s the natural rhythm that’s been inside us this whole time. We just didn’t slow down enough to experience it.