I have stared at this blank screen for 30 minutes now. Honestly, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know anything right now.
At the beginning of this year, I felt paralyzed by all the unknowns in my life and the impending changes I anticipated in the coming months. I did not yet have a full-time job for after graduation, nor did I have too much of an idea of which industry I even wanted to enter. I had all these personal goals but didn’t really know how I would put those into motion. And yet, in the past week, all of that flew out the window as I discovered what it truly means to live in the unknown. It is as though I have been plunged into an alternate universe without any warning or preparation.
We all have.
Earlier today, I went to my bathroom, calmly closed the door, turned on the water in the shower, and screamed. I screamed for every single thing that I thought would happen this semester and now never will. I screamed for the world and for everyone in dire circumstances right now. And then so very selfishly, I screamed for myself. Truth be told, I thought it would make me feel better than it did.
There’s a heaviness in me that I keep trying to run from or ignore, only to feel it gripping me more strongly. I go through my list of old faithful numbing mechanisms. My phone, social media, Youtube. I sit and I stare at my computer and wonder what it is I’m meant to do right now. I listen to the news and try not to be overwhelmed by fear. It will all be okay, I repeat to myself over and over. But will it? I try to stay positive, to crack jokes, as I also do every single responsible thing in the book.
I’ve been staying in and around my house for the majority of this spring break, canceling any plans to go into the city or see my friends. Of course, this has been necessary. I would never ever want to jeopardize my loved ones’ health for a quick burst of entertainment. That much is a given.
And I know how lucky, how privileged I am, in this situation. I know that. But god, it sucks. It sucks that my senior year has been totally uprooted, leaving me without a final semester at Georgetown. That I have no idea when I’ll see my friends next. That just as I was falling in love for the first time in years, everything I thought I knew was wrenched away without so much as a warning.
I want to say, I’m also so grateful. So unbelievably grateful for my health, for my privilege, for my friends, for everyone in the world who has shown such immense strength and compassion in this uncertain time.
But damn it, I’m also devastated. And scared. And though it’s usually my MO to run from these feelings and pretend I’m just fine, I think it’s okay to not be okay right now.
We’re all living through something major and unprecedented. We all are asking questions that do not yet have answers. We are all hoping someone, anyone will bring some respite or good news or a blueprint for how we are meant to be right now.
It’s beautiful how all of our differences fade away in a crisis, and how much becomes totally unimportant. It’s incredible how people come together to help, to love, to support one another and how resilient we all truly are.
I hope to God good news will come soon. I hope the actions we are all collectively taking will turn the tides. That we will all emerge from this experience collectively stronger, braver, and more united.
For right now, I am taking everything one day at a time. I am trusting that everything that is happening right now has a higher purpose, that one-day things will make sense again. I am focusing on what I can control by taking proper measures to flatten the curve, like washing my hands and continuing to stay close to home. I am reaching out to everyone I love and thanking the universe for Facetime and texting. Things could be better, but they could also be so much worse.
It’s okay to let ourselves cry and grieve and hurt. It’s okay to be angry at no one in particular. But eventually, we must pick our heads up and face our current reality, with all its fear, uncertainty, and unprecedented opportunity to begin anew.