The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic has not been the only anxiety wreaking havoc in my life and the lives of so many others. I am also entering my last two quarters at UC Davis. I knew this would be a stressful time because I am determined to meet my career goals; however, I am met with obstacles out of my control and to claim this year is different is an understatement.
We are on the precipice of a new normal, hit with anxiety over the safety of our families, friends, and ourselves, realizing that the people we may have once called friends may not share the same standards as we do during this time. We are apart from those we love and tentative over the idea of trusting new people. I must divulge, as someone who once thrived off social scenes, I have a social battery functioning at fifty percent, and I am easily overwhelmed with the consequences of my actions as a result of Covid-19. Nothing made this anxiety hit more until I realized, like others, I am going on month seven without hugging my dad and my grandparents out of their and my own safety.
Moreover, we are in the midst of political chaos, oscillating between our President’s refusal to condemn systemic racism and white supremacy and his negligence during a global pandemic when he “conveniently” forgets to acknowledge the 212,000+ Americans who have died from Covid-19 (1 million worldwide) as he vehemently downplays the very virus he has since contracted. A lack of effective leadership and rhetoric that manipulates and lies to the American people to gain votes, as well as the increasing polarization and hatred between party leaders have led me to feel utter distrust. Not only did I not know my next step in terms of my own career, but now I have to worry about the state of this country, as lives are sacrificed for the sake of political rhetoric and votes.
I do not have direct power over what is happening in the world today. I do the best I can. I educate myself, remain self-aware, acknowledge the privileges I have and acknowledge there are those who are unjustifiably denied these privileges for reasons delineated by an inherently racist system. I fight to change the status quo because myself and so many others are tired. I facilitate open dialogue with others about their beliefs, whether I agree or not, giving them a chance to share while creating opportunities for myself to educate or be educated. I work to learn and improve. In the midst of this, I still felt stagnant and powerless, until this summer when I realized I have power over perspective and my work is never for naught.
My best friend Kaitlin is responsible for sharing her experiences with me and helping me harness my positive energy to take control of my thoughts when my thoughts were taking advantage of me. Recently, I immersed myself into practicing manifestations and affirmations as per my best friend’s advice. Initially, I did not understand how I can manifest anything when I do not know where I will be in the next six months after graduation or where the country will be after the Presidential Election on November 3rd. I started small by creating a journal. I started manifesting that I want to experience moments that matter, regardless of uncertainty. I may not know exactly what I want in terms of my future or relationships or graduate school, but I want to proceed with meaning because how those moments feel is what I will be taking with me as I move forward, even if the experience does not continue with me. I want to stay focused on what matters — shelter-in-place showed me this in March, but I utilized this thought only two weeks ago. With life wrought with trepidation from multiple angles, I recognize that I exude hope. I recognize how successful I have been, and I want only to improve — to become a better version of myself and to grow.
Reading affirmations has been another positive addition to my lifestyle and routine. Affirmations are small claims that can be recited or written down to enhance self-empowerment and promote positive thinking. I try to start each of my days thinking positive thoughts and reciting affirmations that resonate with me. They remind me that, although doubt and negativity can feel suffocating, I am capable and have the tools to be successful. This was the first link my friend Kaitlin sent me when telling me about affirmations and her experience with them. Use these methods to help gain control of thoughts and create the life you want for yourself. We have control over how we perceive ourselves and how we frame our mindset. Say it with me: I am powerful and strong; I have the tools to create my own path. My mind is my best friend.
Lastly, register to vote here. The last day to change your voter registration information and/or register to vote is October 19th. Please remember to send in your ballot before October 27th.