What a strange experience this covid thing has been. Strangely foreign; strangely beautiful. A paradox of existence. I began the pandemic wanting to strangle everyone I was sheltered-in-place with. I had mini- verging on mega-meltdowns trying to navigate the new landscape that lacked the daily peace and quiet I was used to, and likely some degree of depression.
It’s hard to remember the days not so long ago when I felt so hopeless amid it all. But it was real and it was nearly all I could feel. And then, as the months passed by and everything that used to be normal morphed into a new and almost unrecognizable normal, I slowly began to morph into accepting the package as it was. Eventually I even started liking it, and now I am grateful for the exact things I hated when our world blew up. I expect to see my husband and kids in this space that used to be solely mine all day, and I miss them during the occasional times that one of them escapes the compound and ventures into the world at large.
There is no rushing to anything we do in life these days. There is lots of quality time and conversation in ways that our previous life did not allow for. We have grown through the loss of two family members and we have learned, or remembered, or a combination of both, that life is precious and finite. We have realized how easy it is to stand up and be present for others. Life has a richness to it now that is palpable and keeps me wanting more. I’ve learned that I can do hard things, and I like myself better when I face my fears and allow myself to be vulnerable. My capacity to love seems to grow with each conscious decision to choose love over anything else. That sounds rudimentary to me as I write it. But truth be told, I had to crawl my way back from scarcity to abundance. And I couldn’t see how scarcely I was operating until life forced me out of my perceived safety bubble and into a brave new existence. My heart beats stronger with each breath I take and I like this version of myself much better than some previous versions.
Someday this year, maybe, our world will begin to return to some sort of the former normal we knew and with that will once again come changes we’ll have to adjust to. I am guessing that we’ll all need some time to figure that out, and things will feel all out of place again, and we’ll likely keep some of these pandemic morsels of life in our daily rotation. I think we have become a kinder, gentler human race that cannot return to not giving a shit about each other. The death and destruction we have collectively lived through has made us a more compassionate conglomerate of hearts and souls. We have learned to slow the fuck down, be present with one another, and hold hands without physically touching.
Although 2021 is only a few weeks in, it already feels light years away from 2020. Hope is in the air. Love is all around us. Kindness prevails. Sometimes we forget to live and be love, but it’s there inside of all of us, just waiting to be unleashed. We can do hard things.