I'm sitting on my couch with cocoa and thinking about life pre-Pandemic, what it was like...
It was nice to go for walks down by the water and see crowds of people. It was nice to go to cafés to work, restaurants after work, and occasionally out to dance. It was nice to hug and be hugged, kiss and be kissed.
It was nice to do all of the above without any fear hovering, getting in the way.
But—I don't know about you—back then I didn't feel as resilient as I do now. I felt more fragile. I thought so many things would break me. For instance, working from home all day. That sounded like torture. Or, sleeping alone for months on end. That sounded horrifying. Etc.
Now though, I've done both of these. Not to mention transitioned careers. I've done so many things that I thought would shatter me, once upon a time. Because, in the Pandemic, I found strength.
I've seen this in many women I know, too. So many of us have coped with situations we once thought would lead us to nothing more than pieces of broken glass. And not only have we coped, but we've risen.
I have a hard time believing that this will not stick with us in the long term.
Because we know now we're more capable than we've been telling ourselves we are.
Which is beautiful. And interesting, enlightening—I've come to question why I told myself the narratives I did before.
The short answer, I know, is a melding of self-preservation and human nature. We tell ourselves we shouldn't be alone because it's less good for our health. We are social animals.
And, yes, we should socialize. We should have deep, meaningful relationships. They bring us to life. But what we don't need are the pre-conceived versions we once thought we did.
We can have soul-nourishing relationships from the comfort of our own homes. We can. We can even have them with people we've never met offline.
This is empowering. It chips away at the crust of anxiety that once suggested, You must get outside and be around other people to feel okay.
It reminds us we have more at our disposal than we ever gave technology credit for.
And, again, I could sit here devil's-advocat'ing this all day. Because I know we need physical time with loved ones. I know that touch is a huge thing.
But, given the circumstances and how we need to narrow our bubbles of in-person time, isn't it beautiful that we can expand our virtual bubbles?
There is no limit there.
There is no limit to the number of people nor the depth of relationship you can have online.
And that, that is enough to pull me through the Pandemic.
It's enough to take me through to the other side.
BTW - if you're looking for community, you're most welcome to join the Saturday morning meditation/journaling/conversation group I started. You can join us for free here :)