Finding Light in a Time of Darkness

Before spring break came around, before any of us knew the sincerity of COVID19, I made plans to spend the week in New York City with my uncle and his wife. I chose to go through with these plans even after school was postponed because I was selfish and didn’t want to cancel something I had been so excited for – I don’t regret this decision, as this experience has allowed me to feel like myself once again. On my second day here the city closed most shops, restaurants, and bars and set a curfew for its citizens, so I spent all of my time inside their cozy city apartment. It is now almost a week past spring break and I am still here, in quarantine - just the three of us. 

See, I haven’t had my own space since I left for college in 2017 – my mom converted mine and my little sister's room and at school I share a bedroom in an apartment with my direct roommate – so it was nice coming here, amidst all the chaos, to feel welcomed and finally in touch with myself while having the luxury of my own space.

I have caught up on all of the sleep I was losing at school (and then some),

I have watched over a dozen movies (Manchester by the Sea, She’s The Man, Gracie’s Choice, All the Bright Places, Beautiful Boy- the list goes on),

I have binge watched That '70s Show for the eighth time,

I have read quite a few novels,

I have finally published the blog that I had been so hesitant to due to insecurity,

I have spent time with two people who have taken interest in my likes and dislikes and welcomed me into their home,

I have come to feel like me... for the first time in my life,

and I have come to realize why.

I grew up with a single mom and an absent father which has led me to have my doubts about love, which has led me to bad luck in my own personal relationships. But being here, in apartment 2201, in the presence of two people who are in touch with themselves and their feelings and madly in love has led me to a change of heart. It has allowed me to feel a deeper passion for all the things I believed I couldn’t truly connect with. Art, music, platonic friendship, self-confidence - and has allowed me to realize a lot of the toxicity I have surrounded myself with throughout my life.

I look at the way they are with each other – he knows exactly how she likes her coffee at 8am and how she likes it at 4pm, how he pauses a show when she leaves the room, even if she’s not very interested in it. How he avoids putting stuff on the top shelf because he know’s she won’t be able to reach it if he's not around, how they have random rock paper scissor fights that makes them both crack up, how he immerses himself in her culture, how he laughs when she laughs because he knows it will make her happy. How she is not afraid to be herself, how he tells her that she has food stuck in her teeth and she leaves it there just to make him laugh, and how her reaction to anything he does is positive.

It is just nice to be in the presence of love again, to spend time with people who who worry I haven’t drank enough water – people who care, but also give me space to be on my own. A perfect equal mix of the two, which I have never had in my life. It has created a happiness in me that I have never quite felt before and has very positively impacted me.

I’m trying to make light of quarantine - and I believe that being with people who are bringing out a side of me I haven’t ever seen has created a spark in me that has just now ignited.

I hope you, too, are surrounded by people who care about your overall well-being, and you are catching up on things you used to love or have found new things to feel an overwhelming passion about, whether it be music, art, literature, film, writing, anything that makes you feel you. You again. You in a new sense. You finally. You.