Our One Year Coronaversary is Coming Up: What I've Learned

March 13th, 2020: a turning point all around the world. I think it's safe to say that we all reminisce about how life was before the pandemic took over. Many could not grasp the idea that major, traditional events were getting canceled, events that signify the end of crucial chapters of our lives. Our main sources of community were stripped from us, as we were forced to quarantine. Some struggle to even get out of bed in the morning, a whole year later. 

However, lately, I've been seeing an interesting turn of perspective. Instead of grieving the memories we "missed out on" while being inside, we're now romanticizing the trends and lifestyle that took place last spring until around the summer. Whipped coffee, the show Outer Banks, sleeping in, and the weather getting warmer - we look back and think, "Hmm, what a simple time." A time for much-needed rest and relaxation. A period to sit with our thoughts and spend time with ourselves. And when you think about it, the first lockdown was the first time where we weren't pressured to make appearances we didn't want to make or socialize with people we didn't want to socialize with. No one experienced FOMO (fear of missing out), and out of worry, we abided by the strict lockdown rules. 

I think we all needed 2020. It was a year of self-improvement. A year where we could focus on what makes us feel good and productive. When life completely took a turn, we had no other choice but to also shift our lives to fit the new mold. Yes, many new challenges have been presented that set our moods to a deep state, but I've noticed that we persevered and took advantage of this turning point. How interesting is it, that in a time of panic, fear, and unknown, we now can look back and almost... miss it?  Sweater Photo by Giulia Bertelli from Unsplash

Personally, I integrated a new routine into my life to make me feel fulfilled. With Chloe Ting ab workouts that were trending at the time and family walks that were also a common memory, I acquired structure in a time of chaos. I remember taking evening walks in May with 60-degree weather, holding a turmeric latte while absorbing the sunset. I remember going on drives for fun, because there was nothing else to do, and blasting music with the windows down. I took more baths and even painted a good amount. I found enjoyment in setting a vibe in my bedroom while doing the minimal school work I had. I spent more time with my family and watched feel-good movies or new Netflix shows at the end of the day. At the time, I thought that I took normal life for granted, having to be in my house all day, but now looking back, I've realized that I took the lockdown for granted. I guess the main takeaway here is that we never can appreciate the moment we are in. We can never acknowledge a time of our lives to be "good," until it is over. It's hard to stay grounded and present when it seems that the world is falling apart around us. 

I've also learned how humans naturally transition. As we adjusted to our new, temporary lives, we weren't aware of what the extent was. I honestly thought that the pandemic would've ended by now. I remember my mom telling me back in April that it would be another year until the majority was vaccinated, and I refused to believe that that was true. Back in the spring of 2020, we still had a lot of hope to hold onto. We've never experienced anything like this. During the lockdown, I was practicing self-care and didn't even realize it. I was ignorant of how long we were actually going to be living like this and found it easy to stay optimistic. The simplest things that brought me closure: Zoom and Facetime calls, finding new playlists, flowers budding in my front yard, going on hikes, picking up Matcha from Dunkin, and making and editing videos on TikTok. Through the activities I found myself doing in my day-to-day life, I was taking care of myself. I guess we can conclude the humans know how to take shelter and adjust. 

girl laying in bed feeling stressed out Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash

For some people, and maybe even most people, the pandemic still affects them drastically and has sent them into a depressive state. It's hard to have faith in there being a light at the end of the tunnel when it seems that many setbacks take place. Whether it's states opening too early, a lack of vaccine distribution, or a spike in cases a few months ago, our feelings have been all over the place, and it's easy to be pessimistic. However, despite everyone's mental state perhaps deteriorating, it's fascinating to look back on the last year and see how far we've come. We've lived through drastic change that neither our bodies nor minds have ever undergone. I've personally beat myself up about way too much and realized that I set expectations that were too high for myself. We need to give ourselves more credit. We deserve to take care of ourselves during these times and we need to realize that it's okay to not be okay. 

One year later. I can conclude that our perspectives are now shifting back to how they were at the beginning of lockdown a year ago; we are becoming more optimistic of an end to this. As humans, I believe that the lockdown consisted of so much to appreciate. Now, when life returns to normalcy, we can take what we learned and apply it to our everyday lives. I predict that we will see the world with so much more color, and will learn to never take the current moment for granted.