I had just finished a busy week when spring break started – and when cases, shutdowns and cancellations increased exponentially. At first, it was a relief that spring break was extended. I got to take a breather. But as I continued to watch the news and closely monitor Twitter, I realized the breath I was releasing was going to be a very long one indeed.
As Leigh Ann mentions in her pandemic pivot post, my usual hobbies eventually tired out. While it certainly seems crazy now, I self isolated from the beginning of spring break (around March 13 or so) until May 15. I didn’t go to get groceries with my family. I didn’t go out to see friends. I just didn’t go out. At all. For that period of time, reading, gardening and watching movies was enough for me. But sometime after my spring semester ended, my mental health took a plummet. And then I started going out again.
For me, going out again was needed. I had been so worried about coming into close contact with others that I didn’t come in contact with others at all. I don’t necessarily think of myself as a social butterfly, but I felt like I became one after I stopped isolating. I’m pretty sure I’ve never talked this much in my life!
Recently, I’ve gone to the McNay, an art museum in San Antonio, with a friend. The second floor and the basement were closed off, so we sadly only got to walk through the first floor. Afterwards, we went to a Barnes and Noble where I bought the book On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. (I would highly recommend the book!) Overall, it was a great day hanging out, and a perfect opportunity for me to stop wearing basketball shorts and a t-shirt for a day.
I would like this blog post to seem positive, like I’m doing fine and flourishing. But the truth is, I’m not. I’ve never felt so tired or overwhelmed. And all the walks, books, movies, house and outside plants can’t distract me from that. In all actuality, I’m holding on. Tight. I’m holding on to the two people (my parents) who I get to hug daily, I’m holding on to my very loose, very lax work schedule, and I’m holding on to the few assignments I have left in summer 2.
When I think about “pre” COVID days and the few days before spring break started, I am so happy I had a chance to hug my co-workers. And I’m so happy I got to hold them tight.
Hug your loved ones and be safe,