Hey! I just want to say for those of you out there feeling pretty nervous/anxious/scared about entering back into society as we slowly re-open… You are not alone! Many people tell me they’re anxious about it for lots of reasons. And we have every right to feel this way.
In my mid-30s, when I finally started breaking through a long-term chronic illness that had kept me mostly shuffling from work back home to bed again, I stepped outside and the light was blinding! There were too many people! Dinner party conversations, dating, any kind of group events left me utterly disoriented exhausted, and emotional. I felt more lonely than when I’d been holed up alone in my apartment with Network TV 2Buck Chuck and a landline. See, my experiences had changed me. I didn’t know how to just be who I’d become with other people in such close proximity in this new world. I felt like a stranger in a strange land. I was.
It took me time to acclimate. To move through and transform the trauma. To learn a new language that worked for me. To discover like-minded passengers. The old ways were gone. There was so much grief that required courage and curiosity and a steep learning curve. But I did it. I made my new place in the world.
We’ve changed. Our world has demanded that we do. Resistance to change ultimately doesn’t yield fruit. But resistance too is part of the journey. We’ve lost people close to us. We’ve lost our jobs, some of us have given up on dreams, some of us have had to face hard truths about ourselves. We've marched or held up our fists at marchers. Our Capital was literally invaded. We've cried and watched a lot of television. Some of us have had to keep working even harder during the pandemic. Live with strangers or abusive partners, Suffer alone. Crave hugs. Wish for more space. Faced the silence. Learned boredom. A myriad of experiences. A myriad of traumas. Some of us have had the life fortune to slow down and discover quieter happiness closer intimacies and make more meaningful impacts. Remember this fortune. Offer space for others. A few people I know are still fighting the physical effects of COVID. More than a few of us are shellshocked. Don't believe me. Listen to the experts. Hear out your friends. Look around.
We choose our next steps, our determinations for the future. After suffering, joy! Share the lessons you’ve learned to help others on the road.
Let's go easy on ourselves and others in this changed world.