What was most important to you before you had to social distance?
It’s always family and friends for me, but I think one thing that may have shifted that quarantine has forced me to do indirectly is to listen to myself and my own needs. I think it’s easy for me to be very concerned about how I can help other people who might need it. In this situation, there are so many people who are in need and are sacrificing and risking so much. The most I can do is advocate and stay home. It doesn’t feel like a lot and that’s also a scary thing for me. Indirectly, it’s forced me to really focus on myself as well. I’m in a really fortunate situation where I can social distance in a safe, healthy environment and can tend to myself and take the time to do that.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over?
This is going to sound super cheesy, but thank the ether, thank the healthcare workers, thank the world. Shout “Thank you! We’ve made it!” It’s how I feel–a big sigh of relief and gratitude.
What are you doing to pass the time?
It’s interesting because I’m a pretty go-go-go person. I’m really lucky to have work, so to not have work is a big change for me. However, I’m surrounded by people who are so passionate and creative. It’s been really neat so see how creative people have gotten. You’ll see different people doing readings, or finding ways to be fun–even on TikTok–I really want one now because people are coming up with some cool stuff. People are finding ways to work out, support each other, and connect. When I’m working, there isn’t much free time. I know my friends and family are always there, but there’s less time to prioritize the things I would like to do outside of work. I’ve been able to have dinner with my family every night.
What makes you happy right now?
May is Asian-American Pacific Islander Month and Lupus Awareness Month. I’m a Lupus LA Ambassador, so it’s a really exciting time for me to be able to see people coming together to support an illness that is difficult to manage and doesn’t have a cure. I’m happy to see people coming together to advocate for those who might be in too much pain to be able to, or who feel invisible, because it is an invisible illness. It’s important to be heard and voiced.
The little things make me happy now. Knowing that I can connect with my friends who are healthy. It also makes me really happy to see most of the world coming together to fight this as a whole.
What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today?
I’ve noticed that I tend to complicate things more than I need to. I overthink or I’m over-concerned about that the other person might read my intentions incorrectly. I’m constantly not laying my cards out as honestly as I could because I’m overthinking. Life is too precious and too short to be concerned about anything that isn’t true to myself and my heart. It’s given me some time to think about how important it is to be thoughtful and confident with yourself. How important it is to trust that what I say is valid. That our own voices are important and it’s okay to be authentic.
We live in a society that is constantly going, constantly trying to find the next thing, constantly working towards how we can be better. That’s an incredible quality; we acknowledge that we’re flawed people and that we can always strive to be better. However, quarantine has taught us that we can stop, evaluate, and prioritize. Especially give thanks to those who have put their life on the line for us. I think we can take those things for granted. We can take our doctors for granted, we can be frustrated with them often because they are associated with sickness. Our teachers– not a lot of people want to constantly be in school, it can be exhausting, but they’re devoting their lives to educating us. The people who help us with every day things; it’s so important to not take those people for granted, and I think we often can.