Hello brave new world, brave being the relative word in that sentence. I don’t know what brought on this desire to write after 146 days of quarantine, 125 days of living off of the government, 2.5 months in Missouri, 2 weeks in Mississippi, and 2 months in Florida but today, when I woke up, I wanted to write.
I, like many of you, have experienced many different emotions, breakdowns, days spent only in bed, days trying to better myself, etc. during this time and there really seems to be no right away to go about this extremely unexpected change in our world. Some of us took on projects that before always sat at the very bottom of an imaginably long to do list because we had time now. Others of us decided to get into shape- yes, you are correct in your thinking that no one is going to like you when this is all over. While the rest of us just tried the best we could to get through the time that kind of left you feeling like Bill Murray in ‘Ground Hog Day’. We woke up, made breakfast (or lunch if you adapted my sleeping schedule), did a little work, tried to set up Zoom dates with friends so as not to feel like a hermit and have some sort of social interaction, read 10 pages of a book, watched 20 episodes of Gossip Girl, drank too much wine, and went to bed, only to wake up the next day and do the exact same thing. That’s enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity.
Now, the world is trying to start over. I don’t want to say re-open because nothing is happening the same way it was before this thing called Covid-19 took over. Restaurants are opening with limited capacity, retail stores are offering store side pick-up, and people are still working on their couches, pants-less, probably drinking White Claw at noon. This isn’t the world we lived in before. Many people have asked me when I am coming back to New York. I’m sorry to all of my friends who miss me and are just making conversation but why in the hell would I go back to New York? I kept joking that if I’d stayed alone this whole time in my apartment, by this point, I’d be on the floor twitching and rocking back and forth. It just isn’t realistic.
Back in January, I made mention that I wished that I could have 3 months of time off just to relax. I was tired of working, tired of networking, tired of the whole routine of everyday life. Guess I should start making more wishes right? Persecute me all you want but I have enjoyed/am still enjoying the freedom Covid has brought. I can’t go out or travel like I wish, but as more and more of my playmates go back to work, the more I long for April or May when I was sitting in Senath, Missouri doing puzzles and watching crime documentaries with my best friend (who is amazingly still my best friend). I got to know him better than I probably ever would have, even if we stay friends and also manage to live until we’re 80. You will never really know someone until you spend 24/7 together for two and half months and one of those weeks, the plumbing backs up and you have no toilet. That’s another story. Even though the seconds seemed to tick by so slowly every individual day, time has done what it always does, flown by in the blink of an eye. The moments that stand out the most and the memories I’ve realized I will cherish the most from then, are not the ones I thought they’d be. I thought I’d look back on doing 20+ puzzles and roll my eyes but I miss that time so much. I miss standing over a table, listening to Sam Cooke and Paris Hilton’s record breaking hits, doing puzzles for so long my vision started to blur and my back felt like I was 70 once I finally stood up. I miss making elaborate dinners and using all of the China James (bff) had accumulated from relatives over the years that he’d never used. At first, I felt my time during Covid had mostly gone to waste but I’ve now realized that I did make the most of my time. I learned not only about myself but I learned what and who I truly find important and want to always have in my life. That to me, feels like one of the most important things I could take out of this time.
But now, it’s time to make some life decisions. I woke up the other morning around 6am filled with anxiety about what it was time to do now. Do I go back to New York, a place I swore I’d never go back to until someone could serve me a martini without needing to wear a mask? Do I stay in Florida living out this fantasy life of all day sun, beaches, and pools? Do I impose myself once again on James, who has now gone back to work and received a wonderful promotion, and try to pick up where I left off in Missouri hanging out with the friends I’d made and spilling red wine all over James’s guest room down comforter? To me, Covid has seemed like one big dream. Looking back at everything that has happened, all of the places I’ve relocated to, experiences I’ve had, when I think about them, they almost seem like they didn’t actually happen. Did I really live in Missouri going on runs, helping James set up for his grandmother’s 100th birthday at 4am, and playing slot machines that were “just for entertainment’? Have I really been living in our beach house in Florida for longer than I’ve stayed here the entire 13 years we’ve owned it combined? When I really think about it, it just doesn’t seem real. Going back to the life I know, which now seems like a lifetime ago, also doesn’t seem like a reality. I need to figure out what part I play and what my purpose is in this post-covid life and that’s not easy, especially when the last almost 5 months seem like the end of season 9 of Dallas where you realize it was all Pamela’s dream and JR wasn’t really killed (If you aren’t over 50 that may not resonate with you but my dad still has very strong feelings about it and we’ve had plenty of time to discuss the time he wasted). But really, looking back at everything almost seems like one large hallucination and it’s been a hell of a weird ride.
Anyways, if you made it to the end of this first blog post in almost two years, I thank you. I hope I provided you with some comfort knowing that if you feel lost or sometimes like your purpose in life has been kicked in the bal…stomach, you aren’t alone. I am so grateful to have parents who have basically let me resort back to being 22 and live with them doing nothing. My situation could have been much worse like most of the rest of the world, some of my dear friends included. Just know, if you need someone to talk to, I probably need someone to talk too and I can promise you I am doing nothing productive so we can talk as long as you want. Stay safe and remember, even though things aren’t the same, that doesn’t mean the change was all bad. I like to think no one can take away my memories so find things to cherish and maybe drink a White Claw. Love you all.