Category Archives: Isolation

Pandemic Reflections in a Pandemic

You have any favorite clothes that used to fit you but they don’t anymore? And do you still hold on to those clothes out of sentiment? Yeah? I used to do that as well. But here’s the thing, I took a look at those clothes last year and finally realized there was no point in holding onto them anymore. I don’t want to fit into them anymore, and I doubt I ever could or should fit into them. I’ve outgrown them, not just because of weight gained (pandemic pounds are real asf) but also because I’m not that person anymore. I held on to them because I missed the memory, the time and the relationship I had with the world then, when I fit into those clothes. There is no going back.

That’s what it’s felt like for me, being back at work in the office part time. And nothing is going back to “normal.” A year and a half of working from home has turned the majority of my immediate focus to home life, my husband, family and my cat. So many of the devices I used to employ to distract myself have fallen away and to be honest, I’ve no desire to have them back. It’s actually a bit scary. Eerie.

There’s been all this space to process and see clearly what mechanisms I’ve employed to hold myself back from really evolving. And those mechanisms have become useless and unattractive. All I want to do when I’m in the office is hurry back home to my apartment with my cat and my partner where I feel considerably safer and much more comfortable.

This morning, I sat at the desk I work from and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Naturally, I couldn’t rip my face mask off so I made the decision to just unhook my bra. Then I just took it off and chucked the thing in my tote bag. No shade to anyone who needs one, but after a year of working from home and not wearing one, my breasts feel nothing but oppression when it’s on. 2020 made me hyper aware of how bras, aside from understandably needed support are really just meant to hide nipples away from the patriarchy.

I HATE IT.

MY BREASTS WANT FREE.

So my bra is in my tote. And I’m thankful that since I’m surrounded by zero people and this liberation is possible. I also toyed around with unbuttoning my jeans but that seemed to be the deal breaker. I’m pro-breast liberation but I’m not tryna go all Al Bundy in public. That’s just disrespectful. LOL!

But in addition to shedding old clothes, old modes of distraction and…my bra, I also seem to have shed a deep longing to reconnect with old colleagues.

You know timing is a thing.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder for sure but too much distance makes you binge watch shows on a bunch of streaming services while the memory of what used to be normal in terms of a social life gets dimmer. At first I missed the fuck out of people. Then I got used to missing them. Then I got used to the idea I might never see them again. Then I stopped feeling like I actually needed to see them in person since we have social media, texting and still know we’re alive.

Now, I’m like…what-else-is-there?

I’ve outgrown what I thought I needed from these relationships…

Work is not life.

What-next?

It’s a weird feeling place to be. I see my physical therapist more frequently than I see my close work colleagues or friends and all we do is talk about TV and film while he’s stretching out my arm. That, I look forward to. LOL!

But this strange we’re back in business, back to normal, shove the toothpaste back in the tube mess is giving me extreme pause. I look around me and I see nothing is back to any kind of normal and never will be. And that’s fine. But I need a change. I feel like part of me has already moved on from this and is just waiting for the rest of me to follow.

Uncomfortable/Ok…

Every day is a little different from the last. And at the same time they blend together imperceptibly. Everything that ever was reality is now smooshed precariously, sometimes neatly, sometimes anxiously and even peacefully into the walls of our apartment. Work, therapy sessions, Dr’s appointments, meetings, shopping (primarily online now) picking out my best t-shirt/sleepwear for Zoom meetings…

I’m getting used it but I’m also getting antsy. I’m scared to get too comfortable.

But I am…comfortable.

And also terrified.

How could I not be terrified looking at the news and all the fucked up shit that’s happening from Pennsylvania Ave on down. The hoards of White bodies sunbathing in the Great Lawn while Brown bodies continue to be brutalized

JUST FOR EXISTING!!!!!!!

But how can I be hateful and angry when I’m here with my wonderful husband and our skittish but beautiful cat? How can I be hateful and angry when I have a job that allows me to work from home, have food to eat and to cook, have clean running water and access to technology? How can I be hateful and angry when I have love in my life?

Apparently I can be hateful and angry and lonely and happy and comfortable and joyful all at once, all in one day and in one moment as well. This is why it has never been more important for me to manage boundaries for myself between that which I can effectively do something about and that which I cannot at the moment. I have to be even more careful about how much violence, tragedy porn and “news” I consume as well trying to be mindful of the point when mindless distractions become empty guilty pleasures (which are sometimes necessary) that reach a point where I have no idea what it means anymore. This is when I have to stop, be still and try to get squared with myself a bit, find some balance, initiate things that require inner resources that can’t be bought, that require more of me then just clicking on “buy” “submit” or “enter.”

Continue reading Uncomfortable/Ok…