Incessant inspirational graphics have reassured us that we don’t have to “be productive during a pandemic” or “come out of this with a book written or a bikini body or fluent in another language.” And no, you absolutely don’t, but you also don’t need to do those things when the world feels normal.
Despite society as we know it being on pause, you are not. You get to decide what kind of person you want to be every single day, in every single situation, with every single moment, whether we’re in the middle of a pandemic or not. You can’t control the world, but you can control yourself. And waiting for things to go back to normal is just another sneaky justification of waiting to live your life.
(Damn who gave me this soapbox? Stay with me.)
This is not about ignoring your feelings; mental health is a priority and I do understand that this is frustrating. You ADORE your normal. You sacrificed blood, sweat, and actual pieces of yourself for your normal. Your normal is the DREAM. AND THIS REALLY KIND OF BLOWS A LOT, OKAY?
But what if we used this time not to “accomplish” or “be productive” or “reinvent ourselves,” but to simply experiment with what a different normal might be? To:
Reassess whether we’re truly even fucking happy in our normal?
Discover something new and exciting about ourselves or the world?
Daydream about what our lives might look like if ________?
Dig up old pipe dreams of acting on stage or attending culinary school or a career in investment banking?
Audition a new morning routine that includes 20 minutes of _______?
Take the first small step toward something we’ve always wanted to try but never got around to?
Learn how we can be better citizens to make a better society?
We’re crammed into a weird in-between phase where there are too many unknowns to make solid plans or decisions. But what would happen if instead of viewing our circumstances as purgatory… we viewed them as opportunity?
Time is not on pause. YOU are not on pause.
How are you going to show up for yourself today?