11 Jun Finding the Silver Lining
(Preface: this post was written in early May, prior to returning to work)
This pandemic has been awful,
there’s no sugar-coating it. I’ve wanted to karate chop my partner in the throat more than I’m willing to admit. But, the pandemic has also allowed for a huge change in perspective and a period for reflection. We (or at least, I) typically fill all empty spaces in my life with people. I am the type of person who loves to be around. While I do enjoy occasional alone time, I’m not a fan of forced alone time (…feels more like a time-out).
Nonetheless, the quarantine has left me alone with me, myself and my thoughts more than I would like.
However, this period alone with my thoughts has changed my perspective on things, as I’m sure it has for many of you. This pandemic has taken many opportunities away for people, and it’s ok to be sad about this. But maybe we aren’t able to separate and find the good in the bad yet (please don’t get me wrong here – I am completely aware the outcomes of COVID-19 have been a tragedy). But, there has to be something good to focus on during all of this.
We have (had?) a backpacking trip planned to Europe this upcoming July. We haven’t cancelled anything yet, because we don’t yet know the trajectory of this pandemic. Sure, it’s probably optimistic to think that we will still get to embark on this adventure together, but a little optimism could go a long way right now, don’t you think? If our trip gets cancelled due to the pandemic, of course, we will be sad, but maybe it won’t be all bad. Cancellation of the trip isn’t to say that we will never get the opportunity to do this trip again. It’s just a bump in the road and a slight delay. Maybe the cancellation of this trip in the busiest, most expensive month to travel Europe is okay. Maybe travelling in a slightly cooler, cheaper September is the silver lining.
**UPDATE: we have since cancelled our trip and yes, we are sad.
I extend this perspective to many other aspects of life, too. I have watched friends navigate the online dating world throughout this pandemic, and things are… different to say the least. People are actually getting to know each other as opposed to just exchanging “u up?” texts. Maybe this pandemic will blossom real, meaningful relationships that may not have developed otherwise.
Unrelated, but I wear makeup to work every day – a) because it makes me feel good, b) I love playing around with new products and c) because I began to feel as though I needed it to feel pretty. I haven’t been wearing makeup throughout the quarantine and my skin is clear and dare I say… glowing? This is the longest I have gone without wearing makeup in my adult life and honestly,
it feels good to feel good in my own skin.
Finally, this pandemic has allowed me to alter my relationships with those around me. I’ve gotten to FaceTime my friends more than I have ever previously. I hosted my 25th birthday party virtually on Zoom and some of my favourite DJs popped on to play a birthday set for me. I stood on my balcony and clapped for my fellow healthcare workers with all my neighbours in downtown Toronto. I’ve chatted with my Nana over Facebook messenger and have talked on the phone with my Poppa more than ever before. Connections with those close to us have changed, but they seem to matter more now than ever. The feeling of togetherness exists beyond physical connection, and I have this crazy quarantine to thank for reminding me of that.
Again, I’m fully aware that this thing sucks. It’s awful and I can’t wait for it to end, but it’s important to find the good in a shitty situation.
So, there’s my silver lining. I hope you find yours, too.