I am an artist, so you would think since I am staying home now I would be really productive and getting a lot of painting done. The truth is, I have 2 unfinished paintings that have been staring at me this whole quarantine and I haven’t touched them. Every morning I wake up and I look at them and say ‘Ok, today is the day I will work on you’. But after I am done working from home for my finance job, I do my home workout, and then I go for a walk. Then I don’t feel like doing anything. So, I sit on the couch and watch Tik Tok videos and my paintings roll their eyes at me. And as I get into bed I look at them and say, ‘tomorrow’
It isn’t that I am not inspired. I actually feel very inspired. But my mind is trying to make sense of my new reality. There is so much internal work going on inside of me, that I have nothing left to put on the canvas. I don’t want to paint, just to paint. I want to feel it. I am sure if I started to paint that I would get into it, but I feel like a teenager when I try, as my whole body rebels and slouches and says ‘I don’t feel like it’.
I am wondering why. Why with all this extra time on my hands am I not using it to do what I said I wanted more time to do. Instead I am taking longer walks and staring out into the ocean. I am watching fathers with their daughters as they ride bikes with them, and smile at each other. I am watching as the dogs stay close to their owners, and they seem almost glad that they don’t have to interact with other dogs and people. People are outside, but everyone is in their own world.
Has the sky always been as blue? Is the ocean louder now? Have the palm trees always swayed so majestically? I don’t know, because even though I looked at them before I never fully appreciated them. With all the uncertainty, they are certain. They are almost looking at me wondering why I am panicking at all. This is life. Something they already know.
I know I won’t be the same after this is over. And my mind is searching for what I will be like. I don’t know yet. I look at pictures of me on my Instagram feed before the pandemic and I feel like I was innocent. I took so much for granted. After work, I would contemplate what I wanted to do from all the choices that I had. And sometimes, even with all those choices I was dissatisfied. I miss those choices now. I miss the ease of having lunch at an outside café with a friend and talking about everything that I am going to do. All my plans for the future, and the timeline to get them done. But all of that is up in the air now, because I don’t know what the world will look like when this is over.
Time is standing still. I have to just BE. So, I am taking longer walks in the evenings, and when I get home I take a long bath while I listen to podcasts. I am conditioning my hair and skin. I am putting on face masks and exfoliating. I started doing my own nails, and styling my own hair. I don’t know if I will ever go back to the nail salon or the hair dresser. I can do this on my own, and save money. I am having coffee on my balcony and writing in my journal about my feelings. I am not planning my future, I am contemplating my present. How do I really feel? What do I really want?
I was sad and angry for so long because I was in a bad marriage. I compartmentalized my life so that I could justify it. I don’t have to do that anymore. All the parts of me that I have tucked away in fear of being rejected, I can bring out now. There is no one here to reject them but me. I can relax into myself again, and heal my hurt from the past.
For so long I wanted to know why. I thought if I worked hard enough I could make anything work out. I did work hard at my marriage; it didn’t work out. I have learned that I can’t ‘work’ at feeling something, or ‘work’ to have someone else feel something that they don’t. Feelings don’t work that way. There is no answer to the question of why it didn’t work out. It just didn’t, the universe didn’t want it to. We both have different places we are supposed to be, and most likely will be in those new places with different people. That is the way it is, for reasons I will never know, or maybe they will become clear in time.
I feel like that now with this pandemic. I really can’t question why this is happening, it just is, and I have to trust in the universe that it knows what it is doing. Maybe by everyone staying home it is slowing down global warming and protecting us from something far worse than this. How could I possibly know these answers, I am just one person in this vast world. I have learned to stop questioning and start having faith that all is happening as it should. And no, I don’t get everything that I want, no matter how hard I work at it. I get what I need. And sometimes what is put in front of me is put there so I can grow. So I can get out of my own head and see the bigger picture. So I stop being so spoiled and crying over life not going exactly how I want it to.
These are the things I am learning in quarantine. When it is over I know I will emerge a different person, and I am not sure who that person will be yet. I am excited to meet her.