Ramblings On Unequal States Of Anxiety, And Other Content I Should Leave Off My Online Dating Profiles.

I’m finding our current state of pandemic challenging, reminiscent of summer last year, when we all came to peace with the fact that our isolation was a long haul we had to settle into. As you all know, I am someone who does well in a crisis, the person you turn to when stuff hits the fan. When everything changed in that one week in March last year, I was ready for whatever was happening, jumping in on issues at work, planning virtual colleague happy hours, checking in on friends, meal prepping, doing yoga, writing, playing guitar, staying in, preparing for the worst. I thrive in that unstable place, able to keep my head up and push through… because I see no other alternative. There’s comfort in uncertainty, especially when everyone else is going through it as well. 

My first pandemic-related emotional crash was a few months in, when it became clear that we were in the new normal, and everyone else started settling into routines that differed based on risk acceptance and willingness to adhere to guidelines, with some folks seemingly assuming that it was time to move on. That’s when the anxiety hit, the fear crept into my sleep, the healthy habits started falling away. While others who’d initially panicked and broke started to acclimate to our strange new world, I was suddenly acutely aware of everything I had always been afraid of, of the things I missed, the life events put on hold, the fact that I lived alone. It became harder to focus, harder to stay positive and productive. That was when my hair started falling out, and I turned to numbing agents like bingewatching shows and scrolling Tik Tok to distract myself from from the dread. We were no longer “in it together”, but instead individual units trying to do our best for ourselves, and not for others. That was hard for me.

And now, as the US sprints towards fully vaccinations, Canada and other countries re-enter lockdowns, with skyrocketing infection rates and full ERs, waiting for access to a vaccine made in other places. And poorer countries remain in absolute crisis while Americans continue to scream about vaccine passports and mask mandates. It’s infuriating and disheartening. As that dread of an unequal normal sets in, I find myself paralyzed by inaction, mentally captivated by what came before and what’s coming next, filling my brain with podcasts and articles and media to avoid processing the long, hard road we have ahead of us, the guilt of being where I am, the fear of the unknown that lies ahead.

Anyhoo…. Why am I writing this? I realize that when I sat down to start Missiving this morning, the reflections above served a greater purpose, some clever tie back to something in the news. But as that factor escapes me at the moment, I instead hope that we find a way to notice now, not yesterday, not tomorrow. That we take a moment in our day to forget what we miss of before, and stop dreaming of what’s around the corner, and sit in ourselves to notice what is good and kind and comforting now. For me, it’s the first cup of coffee I had this morning, the smell of the flowering jasmine in the courtyard, the distant warbles of the first bird to start singing in the dark. 

So, um, here’s some internet?

This Missive is disjointed and an example of why professional editors are godsends. So go thank your favorite local editors, because I don’t have one. 

Be kind to yourself, and each other.

xoxo Amy