Sometimes It Feels
I guess the one good thing about this pandemic is it's getting me to write more. If nothing else, that's a nice byproduct. Sure, I can count the number of times I've left the house in the last week on one hand, but never before has my blog been more consistent!
So it's week three, right? No seriously, I'm asking. The days are all melding together and I can't help but feel like The Little Mermaid wistfully gazing out my bedroom window wishing "I could be part of that world." My feelings about social distancing/self isolation/quarantine/whatever we're calling it now have mutated tenfold since breakfast this morning. That's a cycle that seems to repeat itself. My stamina and mental wellness are hard to pin down; as soon as I'm able to appropriately identify how I'm feeling, my mind seems to have flip-flopped to something else. But instead of get angry at myself for such an inspired lack of commitment, I'm going to honor all the ways life amongst COVID-19 feels.
Sometimes it feels mind-numbingly boring. It feels like the hands of every clock are made of thick pancake syrup and it's perpetually 2 pm. It feels like mealtimes are arbitrary and bedtime is a suggestion, with endless not-quite-satisfactory streaming video in between. It feels like a dull philosophy lecture on a Wednesday morning that you're only sitting through because you need to pass to graduate.
But then sometimes it feels scary. It feels like your apartment is a haunted house with spooky scary germs in every corner. It feels terrifying when you think of your friends who work essential jobs, sacrificing their own health for everyone else's. It feels constricting thinking about how one selfish person could decide to go on spring break in Daytona and then go to the same public park your grandparents frequent.
Sometimes it feels productive. It feels like you spring out of bed ready to mount your rented stationary bike and pedal until your calves fall off. It feels like your water bottle is Velcro'd to the palm of your hand and your fridge is bursting with fresh produce you're actually going to eat. It feels like satisfyingly gross Swiffer pads and clean closets and lemon scented air. It feels like you could totally sustain this little healthy routine you've created in your new microcosm, because who wouldn't want to work out in the same tiny space they work, sleep, cook, and eat?
But sometimes it feels depressing. Like sheets that seem to weigh 400 pounds and couldn't possibly be stripped from your horizontal body depressing. Like eating all your ill-advised meals in bed and wishing it would finally be a socially acceptable time to go to sleep for the night. It feels like tomorrow will be the exact same, as will the day after that, and you'll just carry on the rest of your days never again hugging your mom or parking your car outside the office. It feels like your mattress is a poorly constructed raft that has drifted far off to sea, with no ships or schools of fish nearby to keep you company.
Sometimes it feels connected. It feels like FaceTime calls that go on for eons and encouraging messages from everyone you've ever loved. It feels like the digital age of compassion in a way that's fresh and genuine, well beyond what was intended with the creation of the World Wide Web. And while the things you love to do can't all be perfectly replicated alone in your apartment, it feels creative and exciting to try and get close to the real thing. It feels like tech at a new level, almost makes you think Disney was really onto something when they dreamed up Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. It feels like a dream come true for your ultimately introverted nature, like a never ending sleepover with yourself where you get to pick the movie and call the shots.
But of course, sometimes it feels lonely. It feels like everyone you know is in one giant Zoom call and didn't bother giving you the access code. It feels personal when even your cat decides to sleep in the other room and you're refreshing Instagram faster than people can post on it. It feels pathetic using a phone with no incoming notifications as a lifeline, and even more pathetic to dial out to the same three numbers over and over again. It feels like maybe you'll never see another person again in your life, and you wonder how The Edies could have possibly managed a life of recluse by choice. It feels like Christmas morning levels of excitement seeing the mail truck out the window and almost cinematic and novel hearing dogs barking outside.
Most of all, it feels confusing and it feels like I'm not the only one in that boat. And we can argue all we want about if this is necessary and how long this will last, but I'm afraid we're not any closer than we were yesterday to a conclusive answer to our questions. So for now, I think the best we can do is honor all the ways this is making us feel. And of course, remember that boredom and sadness are noble sacrifices to make for the health of ourselves, the people we love, and people we don't know that maybe we would love if we got the chance. So for all those people, I'm happy to feel a thousand different ways, if it means we all get to go on feeling, period.