Quarantine… at the end of the year, quarantine and COVID will be the most used words of 2020, perhaps followed by phrases like, John Krasinski’s Some Good News, I’m losing my mind, and fun games to play in isolation.
But, if I’m being honest, I didn’t lose my mind in quarantine — I became one of those annoying people that took on more and gleaned a new perspective on my ever elusive “purpose.”
Before we went to shelter in place, my boyfriend worked two hours away — coming down to our house on Friday, heading back up North on Sunday. As the COO of the company, he made the executive decision to secure laptops for everyone, and allow them to work from home. Initially, I was nervous about what it would do to our relationship — him being at home with me while we’re both working. At first, it was a nightmare… so much so that his chewing annoyed me… the way he breathed while we sat on the couch next to each other; when he would ask to use my charger because it worked faster than his.
But then something happened. I talked about it. I called a friend and explained my conundrum.
“He doesn’t want to go on walks with me,” I whined, “he was doing so well going to the gym and now he’s just being lazy.”
“Okay,” my friend responded, “why do you want him to go on a walk with you every day? Really think about why.”
So I did. I thought about my reasoning for the walks, for the sleeping in, for less than ideal eating habits… and here’s what I came up with.
I was desperately trying to control as much of the narrative as possible; trying to grip my hands around a situation that seemed to change every day… every hour, in fact. The more I contemplated my frustration, the more I realized it had nothing to do with him getting Chick-Fil-A for the third time in a week, and everything to do with the unknown… the rising numbers of COVID cases across the country… what would happen to my grandparents … to the economy.
Once the light bulb turned on, my perception changed; I genuinely started re-appreciating him for all of his wonderful qualities. This allowed me to dive down into my own shit and actually make the time to do what I wrote down in my Planner.
Start the Science of Well Being class? Yes
Wake up earlier on the weekends to go for a long walk? Yes
Hire someone to work on my website? Yes
Hire someone to create my blog’s logo? Yes
Connect with family for consistent game nights? Yes
Essentially, I just stopped putting off the things I actually wanted to accomplish… I mean, sure, I can still get distracted by scrolling through Instagram, seeing a cute pair of jeans, then feel inspired to make bread, then be drawn to purchase a new fitness e-book, but that doesn’t mean I’m procrastinating what I truly want to get done.
I want to be a writer… as my full time job… my career. So I signed up through Medium, then I signed up through the paid partner program.
I want my writing to make a difference, so I wrote about my sexual trauma, which opened the door for a larger conversation, and a reach out from someone very special, asking me to help them tell their story.
I want to be able to perform in front of an audience, so I continued with my acting class and signed up for Backstage… even purchased equipment to film self tapes.
I want to be a flower, so I purchased dried flowers… okay, obviously that’s not right, but I need to sprinkle in a little lightness in because I know there’s a zillion articles about “change your mindset, change your life,” which is so cliche at this point, it makes me want to puke.
And it’s because it’s never that easy.
Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of Lacy Phillips’ work via tobemagnetic.com so when my friend asked me why it was so important for my boyfriend join me in the sweltering heat for a draining walk around the Desperate Housewives looking neighborhood, I was quickly able to recognize, it wasn’t important.
I’ve been grateful for the quarantine. I enjoyed meal prepping and whipping up new healthy desserts on the weekends, dropping them off at friends’ houses and alerting them to open their front door for a surprise. I’ve appreciated reading and writing in my backyard and becoming more and more in tune with my deep desires. And you know, I think we all really came together as a country, watching Joe Exotic in Tiger King, followed by Michael Jordan in The Last Dance. And that’s important.