I returned back from my spring break nerd cruise vacation last Sunday feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again. But the world looked a lot different than I remembered.
My college moved to remote learning for the rest of the semester, I self-quarantined since I had returned from travel, bars, restaurants, and small businesses closed down, I couldn’t see my family or friends, and I had no idea what the status of my bridal shower, bachelorette party, or wedding would be.
I should feel lucky- it could be so much worse for me. There are people out there who are sick and dying, people who lost their jobs or can’t afford to pay their rent, students who are trying to complete classes online so they can graduate and maybe find a job in this crazy new world, people who still have to report to work at the grocery store or hospital, people who need health services unrelated to the virus but can’t access it because the hospitals are so busy or because they can’t afford it. I could still be long-distance with my fiance, stuck apart for who knows how long. My brother could be stuck in China. Me or my loved ones could be sick.
But thinking of that list only makes me sad. Because not only is the world slightly worse for me, it’s so much worse for so many. And the worst part about it is that we don’t know when it will get better. Scientists have run models and are working themselves ragged to develop a cure and help get things back to normal. But no one knows. Events are being cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
And yet, we are told to just keep on keeping on. Work from home, be productive, clean your house, catch up on your hobbies. I want to do all of those things, but in the back of my mind, I can’t help but consider all of the What Ifs. They make it hard to stay motivated.
I finally broke down and cried about it last night. I didn’t think I would. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help judging those who said they did. But thinking it’s not such a big deal is really only wishful thinking. It’s not okay. I’m not okay. But that’s okay.
I have no idea if and when I’m getting married this year. I have no idea when I will get to see my family and friends. I have no idea when I can leave my house or go back to my job as usual. But there’s absolutely nothing I can do to change those things. All I can do is try to keep up with my life as best I can within my house. I can take care of my family. Also importantly, I can take care of myself.
Please, take care of yourselves. Let yourself cry. Allow yourself to feel afraid or angry or sad. It’s okay to not be okay. I don’t know if anyone is right now, but that’s okay. We can get through it, even though we don’t know what awaits us on the other side.