I Found Peace
I think I am going to miss quarantine. There is something about the simple silence that speaks to me. As I sit out on my balcony writing this blog at 6:30AM I can hear the ocean waves, the birds chirping, and the slight swaying of the palm trees leaves. The sounds of nature are punctuated by the occasional car driving down the esplanade, or a jogger’s footsteps. It is calm now. But the beaches reopened a few days ago and people are flocking from all over to sit in the sand and play in the ocean. Yesterday as I took my usual Saturday walk along the beach, it was more crowded than I had seen it since I moved here in November. People were ignoring the signs posted that said not to gather or sit on the beach. There were blankets, and ice chests and sand toys everywhere. The beach patrol drove right by everyone and didn’t say a word.
I love the beach, so I get it that after being locked up in our houses the chance to get to the beach is exhilarating. And I was walking the beach too, adding to the population there. But as I looked out to the ocean where just a week ago I saw dolphins playing happily just a few hundred feet from the shore, I felt sad. Where are the dolphins now? I couldn’t see them. I just saw people, boogie boards, and sail and speed boats. And a seagull pecking at a wrapper in the sand.
There was something amazing about the clear beaches with the dolphins playing and the birds swooping down to skim the water. It brought me so much joy, that I didn’t even know existed in me. I mean I know I have always loved nature, but I didn’t realize how much it really spoke to my soul to see nature unfettered. I know as things start to open back up, I am going to miss that feeling.
I have mixed emotions because just 3 months ago I craved and loved the hustle of Los Angeles, I mean I moved here for that energy. But who would have thought that in moving here I would discover my yearning for stillness and nature. In slowing down I have discovered a deeper need in myself for contemplation and reflection. As I walked along the beach yesterday with all of the children laughing and running I felt rattled, the noise and motion was too much for me. I walked as fast I could back to my home and sat out on my balcony and listened to music. I took deep breathes to get back into a relaxed state. No one was more surprised than me to have this reaction. I love people, I love activity, and I have never been bothered by noise. But yesterday I was.
Maybe because before the pandemic I had many emotions that were unexpressed and ignored as I ran from activity to activity. Now that I am more in touch with my feelings, I feel more sensitive. I don’t have that hard shell of hiding myself and saying all is good, but then being sad underneath. I got all my sadness out, and I am starting to feel joy and love in my life. The pandemic gave me time to be kind and forgive myself for my perceived weakness in the past. My hardest hurdle to overcome was the shame I felt in not being a good role model for my daughter. Shame is a terrible feeling because it took over my whole being and made me feel like a bad person. Making excuses in my head of why I was allowing someone to undermine and disrespect me did not take away my shame. It just served to confuse the issue and sink me deeper into a situation that I should have left years before.
But during this quarantine time, I allowed myself to go back and look at it all. To fully feel the emotions that I never allowed myself to feel. I talked to my daughter about it for the first time, and she said that she never saw me as weak. She told me that she loves and respects me. I slowly started to let go of the walls I had built around me. I have never felt so much love in my life as I have this past month. For me, it was easier to push love away and say I wasn’t worthy than to risk letting it in and being hurt. But not letting love in, I was hurt anyway. So my logic just doesn’t make sense anymore.
As I think about my future I see a life filled with love and laughter. I will take the lessons that I have learned from this time and consciously live with an open heart and forgiveness. I am working really hard on forgiving people in my past who treated me poorly, and forgiving myself for allowing them to treat me poorly. It is not up to me to punish anyone, or figure out why they acted the way they did. It is beyond me. I am slowly accepting that, and moving forward.
As I prepare for coming out of quarantine, I will always have the feeling of peace and love that I discovered during this time to fall back on when things get to hectic. Now that I have felt it, I can’t unfeel it and I know I can go there at anytime. I hope that it helps me be a better person, and eventually help others in a more meaningful way. I know now that I have the power within me to either hide and be sad, or live with an open heart and have sadness pass through me as just a part of being human.
I feel blessed and grateful every day that I was given the strength to move to Los Angeles and start a new life. I came here for the fast paced energy and hustle but ended up discovering a peacefulness and love inside me that I didn’t know existed. I have been thinking that if I hadn’t moved here when I did, given the current economic conditions, I don’t know if I ever could have done it. I had a small window to take a chance to change my life, and I took it. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth every single bit of discomfort it gave me. I am on the other side now, I am ready for what is next.