Like most of the world, I’ve felt unsettled lately. I struggle with feeling restless, yet unmotivated to do even the things I usually enjoy. I find that the things I want to do most are those things that we aren’t allowed to do right now – meeting at a coffee shop or running with my friends, going out to dinner with my husband, or wandering through a store. It all feels surreal. I bounce between so many thoughts and emotions – being grateful, feeling grief, being frustrated, wanting to break down in tears, and wanting to immerse myself in a funny show. It’s a lot to keep up with.
At first glance, my life hasn’t changed much. I’ve been working remotely since August, and I’m just as busy, if not busier than usual. As a recruiter, I’m helping essential businesses staff for increased business and increased absences. I’m used to being home a lot and not commuting anywhere. My husband is self-employed, so it isn’t unusual for him to be working from home occasionally. Our son is home, but he’s holed up in his room, doing his homework. As a teenager, he’s perfectly content hiding with his devices as long as we’ll let him.
It’s the weekends, however, that show me how real this all is. Again, those things that I look forward to that can’t happen – group runs, races, coffee dates and attending church. This was supposed to be big travel and race year for me. I was registered for a half marathon in Oregon, which would have been my first trip involving an airplane in YEARS. Canceled. Another was Ragnar Trail Michigan, which would have been my first Ragnar outside of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and my husband’s first event with distances longer than a 5k. Canceled. Every race that I was registered for has been canceled and turned into a virtual race, or deferred until next year. Saying that I’m disappointed is an understatement. It seems like 2021 will be the 2020 mulligan.
So why have I emerged here again? My entire life, I’ve been compelled to write when I was feeling anything strongly. I’ve kept a journal most of my life and while I don’t write daily, I do write whenever I have something on my mind that needs to escape. I’ve written poetry, journal entries, and even stories. They’re my way of venting, celebrating, or contemplating, yet not holding anyone as a captive listener. When it comes to the written word, those receiving it are choosing whether they’re going to give it the time and attention. Whether anyone chooses to read it or not, it makes me feel better.
Ultimately, though, I wanted to lend yet another voice that lets others know they’re not alone. We’re all adjusting and trying to learn ways to cope with this “new normal.” While there are people who seem, at least on the surface, to be doing well, I think every single person is struggling with something right now. I’m here to say that it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to be unmotivated, sad, angry, and emotional. It’s okay to not feel okay. The important thing is to know that you’re not alone in these feelings. All I ask is that if you need help, reach out to someone. I promise you, whether you believe it or not, there IS someone out there who is willing to be there for you in whatever way they can. I believe we have to be our own advocates to find those people, as they won’t always appear from thin air, but it’s worth it to find them.
Until next time, stay safe ❤