1. It’s been two weeks since I got my first vaccine. I still feel guilty because I put down that I worked in child care, though by child care I meant I have cared for my cousin’s children and technically I guess I could have not done that but anyway I took my slot and got the vaccine, so now I know I haven’t behaved perfectly during the pandemic, with perfect ethics, and I hate not being perfect.
It’s been two weeks and instead of feeling celebratory, I feel like the dam I built broke and the anxiety has surged in. THERE ARE NO LONGER EXCUSES. I MUST BE FINE NOW. FINE AND HAPPY, ALL THE TIME. BIDEN WON. REASONABLE PEOPLE NOW LEAD THE COUNTRY.
3. Secretly it was so good that during pandemic no one ever told me I shouldn’t feel depressed or anxious or angry or helpless.
4. I’ve gotten some Bs in my graduate work. I’m afraid some ball will be dropped and I will not finish my masters because I didn’t finish the other masters I worked on for two long, hard years.
7. I don’t understand what life is like after this. LIke, maybe it should be the same because I wasn’t averse to contemplating the shortcomings of human nature, and now I know the true depth of the American refusal to sacrifice anything, anything, without personal gain to themselves, but it still bums me out.
6. I’ve adjusted to having enough time to actually keep my home the way I like keeping it, spring cleaning, closets organized, preparing for family birthdays, not having to deal with having a boss at all really, and I worry I don’t have the strength to amp up to regular adulthood shit again, the way a K-12 teaching job owns you and exhausts you, the way our economy, our way of life, can pull every ounce of energy out of me, and then I have nothing to put on my Sunday clothes and see there’s lots of room out there.
2. My parents made it through this, and it’s weird that this fact has never felt “good.” The fact that I personally avoided disaster during the last year doesn’t seem to mean anything to me.
11. During pandemic, I thought a lot about how I was pretty depressed before pandemic. Like, I had been through a couple of mental health struggles, and I wouldn’t say I was feeling great about the world. Then I think back through Trump times, which was one long exhausting spell of fear, and I’m like, when did this even start? When I moved to NYC seven years ago? When my first NYC job fell apart on me?
Then I gotta go back and be like, whoa, the story of your life is always changing, and the above doesn’t seem like a very useful way to think about my story.
And about how it’s easier to write sad stories. They’re more compelling.
10. I’ve been reading about how we need to replay our traumas to make us feel safe. So I replay, this is too much for me, I can’t handle it. As a friend told me today, though, I have changed. Now I sometimes ask for help when I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes even before I feel totally overwhelmed, when I just feel rather overwhelmed. Like today, it wasn’t after I had no appetite all day, it wasn’t after I had felt sad all day, it was maybe an hour into feeling like AAAAAHHHHHH!
And I decided to finally write something about all this, and post it, because really it’s the only way I can mentally and emotionally set it down. Even in this crude way, without the prettiness of an essay frame.
11. Pandemic also made me think, other people now know a bit more about what it’s like to be me. Spend a lot of time thinking about the right thing to do? Stuck in your own head? Depressed about the world situation? Stuck inside alone but not really wanting to go out, either? Contemplating what it all means and what you owe to your neighbors and how to create beauty and…? That’s my every day since I can remember.