It’s been over two months since my last post. And roughly 130 days (probably more by the time I get this done) since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the states at full force. 130 days since my beloved city shut down, I started working from home, and stopped seeing anyone in person other than Frank and Ajax.
Since then, an odd amount of things have not changed. I managed to sneak out at the beginning of this month for 1-week at my Mom’s house in CT. To be around other people was both overwhelming and soothing at the same time. An odd mix when you really think about it. Afterwards I felt so renewed and refreshed (a classic extrovert) I thought, I really, really thought, “That’s it, I am good now. I don’t need more of a summer. I can do four more months if I have to.”
I am a big fat liar.
Summer beats on. Hot, long, sunny days. Most of which I spend indoors, in the same room, typing away with my coworkers. Typing is my new social interaction. And yet, it has gotten increasingly harder for me to set up a Zoom call. To want to call people. Mostly because it feels like the low-fat, sugar-free version of an incredible dessert. And my little extroverted heart can barely take it. I have great phone calls with friends or family and then I am reduced to a good cry after. Or some old fashioned moping because… I crave the human “contact” but it is not enough. To be unable to move around at will to see people, be around people, make plans without my head spinning off (is it safe? Is it raining? Is it safe? Is it safe????) is a luxury I never knew I had until it was gone. I know many of you feel similarly.
Even though in summers past I rarely took long vacations or had much time off, the option always lingered, the choice was technically there. And the option being removed from my life has been a very hard pill to swallow.
So on a surface level not much has changed. We work from our desks all day, eat dinner and watch movies at night. But emotionally I have become a bit more… in touch? Where I used to bury my feelings in activities they are ever present now. I think some people would say this is healthy, (ha!) but for someone like me a rampant extrovert, busy body, traveler… being this close to my emotions full time has been EXTRA exhausting. And I am having to draw more *Kourtney Kardashian voice* BOUNDARIES with those I once left myself open to anytime, anywhere. (And I’ll note, some people are not taking this well. O_O)
I am finding a certain grace during this time, and I have my awesome, great days where I love the new quieter positions I have had to take. And I do my best to lean into that. But creativity has been hard, sharing has been harder, and leaving my house–while now sort of permitted– is a big hurdle when it used to be my stasis.
I encourage you to look below the surface of what has not changed and see if there are actually some hefty shifts. If you’re feeling particularly down and out — I have come to hate Fridays — this is a good way to try and shift your mood. Or… just reflect even if it’s the literal pits.
We’re all missing something and we’re all responding in different ways–much like the virus itself– so continue to be gentle with yourself and I’ll try and do the same. Even though it’s really hard right now.