My family and my friends all being safe and healthy. It’s important for me to try my best to take care of myself too, though. When things get really stressful I put my all into everybody else. Caring for others is where I find my own meaning. I’ve been finding it important for me to also give back to myself a bit more. I’ve been finding myself drained during this time. I’m checking in with others, but making it a bit more of a habit to check in with myself, which is new and has been uncomfortable at times.
What was most important to you before you had to social distance?
I was so future oriented. I’m graduating next month. There was a lot that was happening; finishing school, graduating, getting a job, finding success in societal expectations. Now it seems so trivial. We really take for granted having our routing, our normalcy, our health. What was important to me was being goal oriented, getting things done off a checklist. Right now, I’m having to let go of that and take it day by day.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over?
Get my eyebrows done!
If you’d asked me that question three weeks ago, I would have said go to my favorite restaurant or go to happy hour. All of that’s not going to be the same even in the next few months. I don’t really know what I’m looking forward to. I’ve gotten into this thing of being very cautious about all of this. I miss going to bars where it’s so crowded and you’re going to the front to get a drink, sticking your credit card out with a ton of people surrounding you. I feel like a lot of that won’t be as normal anymore.
To also just give people hugs. I don’t know if that’s going to be as common or if people are going to be more hesitant to do that. I’m a very physical touch kind of person. I find connection with others by being in their physical presence, so that’s been especially hard for me. I’m fearful that everything I get out of those interactions and the energy and joy it brings me won’t be the same.
What are you doing to pass the time?
I’ve been really busy working a lot, finishing up school and my internship. That’s also been to keep myself busy. It’s been nice going on walks outside.
What makes you happy right now?
Going outside. That has been bringing me a lot of joy. Seeing some normalcy in nature. Seeing the trees are still where they’re at. The flowers are still where they’re at. Animals too. Dogs are just living their life–they still walk around looking happy. Even seeing kids more; that aspect of innocence has been refreshing. I’ve been weirdly appreciating that. Trying to embrace what’s here has been bringing me some happiness. And I’ve been doing a lot of online shopping. Cheap thrills.
What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today?
I think to just be a bit more aware and to not take things so lightly. I’ve really felt more of this sense of connection with the world around me. Even though I’m not in a population that’s more susceptible to serious fatalities with Covid, I’m more empathetic and caring towards the populations that are. Sometimes we can be so in our heads about “will this impact me? No, it’s fine.” I think I feel a lot more connected to everybody now. If it’s not something that’s directly affecting you, it’s affecting the world around you and affecting other people’s friends and family. You never know when something is going to hit you, so just have empathy and compassion towards the rest of the world. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an issue this big in my lifetime. Be more compassionate to the world around you.
I’ve been trying to have more of a positive outlook, too. Having a reality check that life is not going to go the way you want; there’s no way to plan your life. I’m very much a planner and I have to everything organized out in front of me to soothe myself. It’s okay even if you don’t have everything planned. It will fall into place because it has to. It’s been a big lesson for me being so type A and needing my life together to see that things are still happening okay–I can still wake up, I still have a roof over my head. I’m still able to function even if I don’t have the next month planned out. I’ve finally been able to forcefully have a couple months where I can’t plan my life out, and I’ve been okay.