Time has stopped for all of us this year. It has created this parallel world where all that mattered no longer does, and in a collective unit we all began to experience our lives in uncomfortable ways. We had no place to run and hide. It seemed as if the world had taken a deep breath and we were all waiting for the exhale. In that gap is where life began again.
Many of us had to confront the things we were running from. Where do you go to escape your loneliness when empty streets and a six-foot distance deprive you of human interaction? Who do you turn to when quarantine has closed off even those closest to your heart? You can scream at the top of your lungs, but no one is around you to even hear it. In the midst of this all, a cohesive reprioritization started taking place.
We lost loved ones but gained the time to grieve. We gained the time to wake up each morning knowing all we had at the end of the day was ourselves. Relationships that had no place in our lives fell apart while we connected with those that life brought into our sphere in some wild way. We appreciated that sunset at 8:45 p.m. because it reaffirmed the notion that even though it seems as if everything has been put on a pause, the sun still set every night and rose every morning.
Every moment with our loved ones seeped into our pores because it was a gift during these times. Having healthy loved ones in our life was a gift that we were grateful for every day. Many of us appreciated the moments outside in the park or driving with the windows down during summer evenings with more intensity than ever before. A hug or kiss felt like a new language. Any moment that took up the entirety of your mind seemed refreshing because it allowed us to forget the anxious energy in the air.
It allowed us to forget the moments where we broke down in our homes because our mental illnesses seemed to thrive under these conditions. You take the good with the bad, but sometimes the bad feels like there’s no way out. Consciously we all gave ourselves enough room to cope with the entanglement of emotions that we couldn’t make sense of. We weren’t so hard on ourselves because who could be during these times? Self-love became more prominent than ever. We learned how to hold our own hand. We learned that weight gain is okay because it’s your body in survival mode right now. We all learned how to live again in different ways with a new conscious pattern of what’s important. In a sense, though humanity seems too distant from one another, the sense of interconnectedness has never felt more present.