Well. I never thought in a million years I would be sitting at my kitchen table writing a post during a pandemic quarantine, but here I am.
As I write, I watch as fellow Chicagoans walk past my windows. Not as many passing as a week ago. I wonder what they’re thinking. I wonder how they’re doing.
I go through waves myself. And it’s not necessarily just good days and bad days, sometimes it momentary shifts within.
There are up and downs. Bouts of worry and sadness, then elation upon seeing a loved one’s face through my computer or excitement to begin a new jigsaw puzzle. I have so much range. Zoom and Facetime are god sents.
I realize I can’t just grab my keys and run out to the store. I mean, I can. But, “I’m running out to the store”, feels more like a scene from Mad Max these days.
The other day I tried on my wedding dresses, yes I know, it’s plural. And yes, shockingly, they all fit. That was a mood booster.
I’ve come up with a couple grandiose projects, one is learning to sew masks and another is reenacting movie scenes with Anthony, who’s currently in film school. I’ve sewn a button on a jacket once or twice. Fingers crossed, but I think I can craft a mask.
I’ve had a good, healthy cry. The feeling of loss is present. Grief, is that you again?
Anthony and I had a date night over the weekend, made a delicious crab stew, lit some candles, and drank a ridiculously nice bottle of wine that we were saving for a special moment. No time like the present was our special occasion.
Upon hearing the news that we wouldn’t be able to sit together on camera, for the time being, Michelle and I created a YouTube channel and started going “live” on Instagram, with Live at 5. Nothing like a little self-isolation to get us to step outside of our comfort zones. Getting back on camera has helped me tap into skills I have but haven’t used in a bit. It feels wonderful.
Having someone to tune into that is not the news has been a lifesaver. Gary John Bishop is a self-proclaimed urban philospher…he is my source of empowerment and inspiration. He’s Scottish, swears a lot, and unloads massive amounts of wisdom. His words help me get my head out of my ass when I am feeling overwhelmed. I guess you can say he’s my virtual therapist.
I’m grateful I don’t overly watch the news and for my will power in that department. However, I still experience some very sneaky isolated moments of sudden panic. Surprise! Fun times.
I’ve learned to be gentle with myself.
I’ve learned to be more mindful of my mental health and that of others.
In all of this chaos, I’ve learned that like grief, there is no handbook when it comes to your entire world being turned upside down.
You try your best, feel your feelings, do weird things, and try to see the silver linings.
The last time I felt this particular way, my mom had died. I know this feeling, it’s familiar. The truth of the matter is, I’m grieving the loss of my normal and working on accepting and adapting to my new normal. I think we all are.
Shortly after my mom passed away, I was driving my car when a tsunami of grief took over my entire being. My tears were uncontrollable, my belly hurt, and my throat was closing. I could barely drive. It was a primal type of sadness.
It was the saddest moment I can ever remember feeling, so I snapped a photo of myself crying. I never wanted to forget how sad I felt. I needed to capture what my grief looked like, not just felt like.
I wanted to be able to look back and think:
shit, that was the saddest I have ever felt….
but I pushed past and kept going.
Please feel free to share if you think this can help others and yourself feel less alone.
Be safe, stay home, I love you. xo, Lauren