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her campus western, image of a dog
her campus western, image of a dog
Original photo by Sophie Holland
Wellness

Moments of Time: How To Feel Less Phoney With The Quarantine Lonely’s

COVID-19 has most of us becoming well-acquainted with spending time alone. This can be hard when you’re used to a certain social environment and suddenly friends and family cannot be there for comfort. This newfound loneliness in quarantine has led many to a period of self-reflection, both practical and philosophical. Questions that might arise are: Who are the friends closest to me? Where do I belong in this endless universe? Why did I ever enjoy going to a bar so close to other people’s germs? Why should I not dye my hair purple? Will I ever go back to the way I was? All of these quite serious questions often do not have clear answers. I suppose this is what happens in loneliness. We get stuck inside our thoughts –– begging for answers that might not ever come. 

Recently I have been questioning moments of time. Specifically, how important it is to hold on to personal moments of time. That moment  sitting next to the mouthy kids in grade school, the first friend made in university residence, the almighty first crush (or several…), or  the last smile from an old friend you’ve lost contact with. Loneliness can make you feel some extreme emotions, like you never even existed among others. However, when looking at various moments, this is far from the fact. If we find gratitude for moments of time and treat them like little pieces of reality, then we are never truly alone. Note that I am not here to give unsolicited advice, but rather offer a moment to think together through a screen and ponder in our shared quarantine boredom. Because, why not rethink something that may make us feel less alone? 

Going into the second major lockdown, where many of us are alone at our desks participating in Zoomversity (or snuggled in bed with the camera off), I think it is essential to hold on to moments that make us feel some joy. Often, we are told it is silly to feel so deeply for something that is in the past, and that holding on to the present or the future might be more practical. We might hear that the past is something to get over, but moments of time are subjective, meaning that we all favour the ones we find meaningful. So what matters to you matters. Time also exists within ourselves, which makes these moments easy to visit. It is in our own individual capacity to care for our own moments of time –– despite what others might say, despite if it may sound crazy. I am not suggesting that solely living through your past is healthy, but caring for these moments is important. They define who we are and hold so many special events. Moments of time show how strong we are despite challenges faced along the way. We are able to see how we have learned to love ourselves, and keep those fun, crazy and ugly times close. You may be thinking, well, aren’t these just memories? Well yes, but I offer them as moments of time because of the importance they hold to loneliness, as something not in the past, but a reality that is always within us, so we can feel less phoney with the quarantine lonely’s (apologies for that rhyme).

Allowing moments of time to serve as little antidotes of happiness can make quarantine more manageable. Allow yourself to deeply feel the moments of time that make you happy to sing, to jiggle and to dance. I will stay thinking about my dog’s first run in the snow last year as a little puppy curious about everything around him. This moment makes me happy and suddenly I am less lonely. We can get through quarantine knowing that although we may not be physically present with family or friends, we are always with one another. So whenever the world might open up again, we will have an abundance of moments of time to be thankful for and many more to look forward to thanks to the overthinkers, to the deep feelers and, of course, our moments of time.

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Sophie is in her second year at Western, completing a degree in Global Culture Studies and Media, Information and Technoculture. She loves to write poems and paint pieces that provoke a lot of thinking (or that don't make sense...?). You can catch her playing guitar, eating chocolate and singing to her human-sized dog child.
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