I got to thinking about this COVID-19 quarantine. I’m very upset by everything going on in the world around me. It’s devastating to hear about so many people dying, a leadership that doesn’t care about fellow Americans, people who won’t wear masks, travel being halted, and employers not taking this seriously enough.
As a vegan, this is all especially difficult. COVID-19 happened because people are still eating animals. Period. There’s nothing more to it. It breaks my heart that animals are still dying because humans want to eat them, exploit them, and thus, leading all of us into a pandemic that has killed so many. It’s heartbreaking. I’m not here to preach on veganism, but I hope that people start to take a look at their diets moving forward. There are wonderful resources out there on the change to veganism. I would start with reading Nutrition Facts by Dr. Michael Greger.
Because of COVID-19 and my depressive feelings about the future of humanity, I’ve found it hard to write during quarantine. I haven’t traveled or lived the life I love for the quite some time now. Most of us haven’t. Most of us feel stuck or lonely. Inspiration hasn’t struck. I’ve been reading a lot and often, but it isn’t the same as writing and editing my own words. And it’s devastating. I challenge everyone reading this to focus on what hurts, what makes you angry, what makes you happy, and to focus on writing. I’m going to make myself break this self-imposed writer’s block this week. I need to write. I need to express myself and stop feeling so depressed about everything. I bet you do, too. Let’s do this together. Let’s write. Let’s be the writers we’ve always been. Best of luck.
I got to thinking about this quote, “Speak the truth. Even if your voice shakes.” I cannot recall where I heard it or read it, but I love this quote. It validates any sort of fear that I have when speaking out. Sometimes we avoid speaking the truth because of fear. Sometimes we let things go (and sometimes we should do so) because we don’t want to deal with the confrontation. But I want you all to know that it’s okay to speak the truth. Let your voice shake. Let the fear come out. I can tell you from experience that the fear shutters once the truth is out. It will be okay. Trust.
I got to thinking about home. Where is home for you? Is it where you grew up? Is it where you live now? Is it wherever your family lives? Are these the same for you? Or different? For me, home is sometimes where my husband I are. Sometimes, it is where I grew up. And I often feel conflicted between the places. I feel like I need this definitive answer and that’s that. But it is that simple?
Over time, as I think I have gotten older and wiser, I have learned that home should be where my heart is. Where am I happy the most? Sometimes that answer changes. Sometimes I wish for something different. But what I have found of the utmost importance is that home is happiness. As long as I am happy, I am home.
Think about it: Where is home?
I got to thinking about dreams. I have a lot of dreams. I want this and that and this and that. I want to make an impact in some way. I want to be tied to fame and make money. But most of all, I want to be a respected writer. I faced some rejection recently and am slowly picking myself back up. I am incredibly sad. But I know that rejection is part of any career, especially a career like writing. Of course, it doesn’t sting any less.
But this got me thinking about dreams being too big. Am I devoting myself to something that might never pan out? Of course it’s a risk. But is the effort I put in affecting everything else? Am I hurting those around me because of my intense fixation of being somebody, on being a writer? Is it too much? I am not thinking of quitting by any means. However, I do think that I need to take a step back and look at what I want. Is it money? Is it fame? Is it respect? And at what cost will I go to get these things? That is, if anything ever happens.
I keep thinking of Nick Foles. He never gave up. He almost did. And then he won a Super Bowl. He inspires me often. But maybe he was the exception, not the rule. Tons of us face rejection every single day. And some of us never get what we want. How do we know if we’re the exception? Will we ever know?
Are we simply dreaming too big?
I got to thinking about those in which we surround ourselves. I heard this quote recently: “Surround yourself with good people. And your life will be good.” Do you think that is true? If you have good people in your life, will there be happiness? I think this varies to a degree. At least sometimes. But overall, I find it to be true. I find that if you’re around those who are positive and happy, you’ll be positive and happy. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy? And are happy people good? I wouldn’t say that is always the case. But if you find someone who is happy and always cheering you on (and of course, it is a two-way street), then you’ve surrounded yourself with those who are good. At the end of the day, that’s all we need, and certainly all we want. Go out and find those people and never look back.
I got to thinking about resilience. Society always says, “Kids are so resilient.” And maybe that is true. I couldn’t tell you either way. I hope it is true. But why don’t we say this about adults? Are adults not resilient? What if adults go through something horrific, do we, as society, not believe they’ll overcome it, too? Isn’t that cynical? Shouldn’t all of us be resilient? Or are adults too stuck in their ways to be resilient? Can we not change?
I was thinking about this because I was wondering about my own resilience. I think I could be more resilient. I think I tend to stray from change and from anything that will make me feel the stillness of trauma. Not that most of us want either. So I am slowly learning how to be resilient, how to not let things or people bother me. I can let go. I can release those feelings and be resilient. I don’t need the negativity; I simply need the control. It just takes time and practice. And maybe it doesn’t for kids. I am so envious of that. But discovering more and more about myself is what will get me there. In time.
Book 2 in “These Four Years” series is available on Amazon (June 28, 2019)!
I got to thinking about the highs and lows of life. Why do we celebrate the highs and hide the lows? Are we afraid of the vulnerability? Are we afraid of being seen? I know that I am. I don’t want others to see the sadness, the hurt, the anger. Who would want that? But maybe that’s exactly what we should do.(I think this is why I am an Instagram-hating millennial… a rare breed!)
This year has been so interesting for me. I have celebrated several highs. But those fantastic highs have been coupled with disastrous lows. And it’s heartbreaking. We don’t talk about mental health enough. We don’t talk about the lows enough. So here I am. I have had lows this year, as well as life-changing highs. And I don’t think either are over yet. My mental health is a roller coaster, desperately searching for the steady track. And that’s okay. I am not afraid. Or, at least I try to not be afraid most days. We all have those lows. It’s okay. I am okay. Maybe today will be a high day, even if previous days have been low days. That is the hope. That is the goal.
I recently heard this: “I don’t deserve this. But it’s happening anyway.” What a poignant, and fitting to my life, thing to say. Well, I mean, this could probably fit into most of our lives, right? There are so many things in life that we cannot control. We cannot control people either. Yet, things happen. People happen. Life happens. And we get upset. We cry. There’s some joy sprinkled in there, too. Hopefully.
Maybe we don’t deserve something that’s happening to us. But it happens. We have to learn how to deal with it, how to cope. Is that even possible sometimes? I am not sure. But it has to be. We can’t have everything work out perfectly all the time, right?
I am changing it: “I don’t deserve this. It’s happening, though. And I will deal with it how I see fit.”
What do you think?
I recently discovered this quote, thanks to a sub I follow in Reddit. And it’s so applicable to my life right now that it made me smile. Thanks, Oscar. 🙂
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live. Selfishness is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” —Oscar Wilde