Hi, how are you? (Before you continue, seriously answer the question.)
As for me, when asked, I have been saying the same thing since New York was quarantined, “Taking it one day at a time.” This is whether I have highs or lows so that I do not add to the weight that others may be carrying. My lows had me feeling like I was in the twilight zone and the “highs” usually plummeted within 48 hours. Staying positive and healthy has been a chore.
The disparity in which this pandemic is affecting Black and Brown people has been heartbreaking including the violence against us by white supremacy whether by government officials or not, and reminded me the words of Claudia Rankine in Citizen:
“Because white men can’t/ police their imagination/ black women [and women] are dying.”
Therefore, I no longer say “we are in this together” because we aren’t sharing the same experiences and outcomes. Just because many of us are on Zoom doesn’t mean you know my pain or nightmares. Nevertheless, I am grateful to wake up to see another day. Another day to breathe, work, realign, connect with my faves. However, some days I’m in a dark space given the circumstances. After a few days I feel better. Therefore, I give myself grace for not updating my website, grading homework or working on my dissertation chapters.
I thought this quarantine would have given me time to “get things done.” That hustler mentality meme about coming out of this with a skill tripped some of us up. We thought we were ALL supposed to be “bigger and better,” but reality isn’t panning out that way. Kudos to those who are getting the job done! However, right now, I am trying to survive, and my survival looks different from day-to-day. (FYI: My definition of surviving includes thriving because in the Lorde, I trust.)
I had this post in my head since early April, I wrote most of it two weeks ago, but I am publishing it late May. Normally it would not have gone down that way. It is what it is. Yesterday, I was elated for the Verzuz IG Live Battle between reggae megastars Beenie Man and Bounty Killer and as soon as I logged onto Twitter, the cover of the Sunday New York Times of all the people who lost their lives to Covid-19 was gaining traction. And the high went to a low. I didn’t look for the names that I knew. I just closed the app.
They are about to open up outside again…If you’ve moved a mountain during this pandemic, cheers! On the other hand, if you haven’t, that is OK, too. Sometimes it is just having the mindset that things will get better and when you can, make small steps to move forward. Keep in mind you may have been grieving what we know as “normalcy” and grieving can be up to a year or more. Trust me. And please, please do not compare yourself to anyone. You live different lives—what is for them may not be for you…yet. If anything use them as motivation and see what their coping strategies are and if it fits into your life. However, the objective is to take it one day at a time.