Self-Love in the Midst of COVID-19

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: self isolation is boring and lonely. I will savor the moment when I can finally return to a coffee shop, order some variety of a cinnamon latte and soak up the feeling of being around other people. I don’t mind a lazy weekend, but a lazy couple of months has left me feeling constantly tired.

Still, I’ve been trying to make the best of the worst by getting around to the things that I felt that I never had the time for. For one, I’ve been reading a lot more. Reading is not only a form of escapism, it’s also an excellent way to improve writing. Specifically, I’ve been reading a lot of feminist literature, both fiction and nonfiction. These works, such as the excellent “Girls and Sex” by Peggy Orenstein, have left me reflecting about myself.

I’ve gotten to be increasingly active in feminist causes over the years, making sure to support women authors and campaigning for the politicians whose causes I believed in. But being locked down with literature that critically examines society’s treatment of women has made me realize that I’ve supported feminist causes but didn’t apply them to myself. I’ve allowed myself to be subject to society’s contradictory views of women: both prude and slut shamed by men who’ve been interested in me, called both fat and anorexic by women whom I thought were supportive of me. 

For years, I’ve accepted it all because I thought that there was nothing I could do to change it. I refused to acknowledge how toxic these comments had made me feel about myself, how I constantly felt this pressure to be an acceptable woman even though there’s a contradictory view on what an acceptable woman is.

Spending time with myself has made me realize that I’m the only person that needs to accept me. I’ll still fight for women’s causes because I hope for a better future. But now I’ll be applying feminist principles to my own life. After all this is over, I’ll continue to focus on self-growth rather than self-doubt. With that being said, I’m looking more forward than ever to spending a weekend at a brunch with some supportive friends rather than being home alone watching “Twin Peaks.”