Yoga teacher, world traveler, wannabe-blogger.
I used to have lots to say when faced with the “so, tell me about yourself” question. Back when life was “normal”, I (most days) felt like a fully-formed, interesting, accomplished human bean. Lately, though, that question gives me a pit-in-your-gut, awful, unworthy feeling. I struggle to think of an answer beyond “my best friend is my cat”, or “I watched an impressive amount of Grey’s Anatomy last night on Netflix”.
Suffice it to say, life’s gotten a lot…less since this pandemic started. So many of the things we took for granted have been taken away from us, and I’m sure I’m not the only one left feeling a little lost.
Pre-Covid, while my life was never busy-busy, I at least felt like a person that did things. Several nights a week I’d be at the yoga studio, either teaching or taking part in a class. I’d always have travel plans on the horizon, either in the works or already booked, to look forward to. Even this blog, I kept updated on a semi-regular basis. These days? Nada. I haven’t been to a yoga studio since March, when everything began to go haywire and shut down. Travel seems like it’s a thing of the past, especially now, living in NFLD, which still has pretty tight restrictions on flights anywhere outside “the bubble”. And the cumulative stress and exhaustion of everyday life and the constant news of world atrocities has left me in absolutely no mindset to write the positive, insightful posts I wish I could.
Honestly, it feels like I’m losing my identity. Everything that made me me feels compromised, and while I know that’s small fries compared to what Covid has taken from others (their lives, loved ones, jobs, etc), it still feels like a loss. Every reminder of the things I’m not doing feels like a personal attack; every “So, no travel plans this year I guess!” or “You’re not teaching yoga anymore, are you?”, a punch to the gut.
A recent comment from a friend of my mother’s, complimenting my blog and asking if I was still writing, made me want to punch back. Why wasn’t I still writing? Besides my sad, stubborn mind, nothing was stopping me. Mindset is a powerful thing, and I’ve decided to take back that power. Not much is within our own control these days, but this is something. And in small ways, we can take back the control of other aspects of our lives, too. World-wide travel might not be option for the next few months (years? how long??), but we can play “tourists at home” and discover new hidden treasures. Yoga classes are still weird, but I’ve refused to let Covid take my entire practice from me. Daily home practice is still a thing, and I hope, eventually, I’ll be back in the studio teaching.
Again, and as always, attitude is key. Nothing about life is going to be “normal” for a good while yet, so we might as well make the best of it. Whatever you feel this pandemic has stolen from you, find small ways to take it back. Whether it’s “visiting” with family over Zoom (ps when did Skype stop being a thing?), or getting creative in the kitchen instead of dining out, or taking certain activities outside in order to ~social distance~, we can adjust and adapt. We don’t have to give up our whole lives and all the good things in them because of this. Some day, this is all going to be over, and we are going to have a semi-normal life again.
It may be naive to believe that, but I need to believe that. I need to hold on and cling to that piece of hope, that eventually, life will be good again. I need that scrap of optimism to motivate me, to keep fighting for the things that make me happy, and to not give the pandemic any more power than it already has.
If you’re feeling lost, sad, insecure, confused, just generally bad these days amidst all this, just know you’re not alone. Find the joyful things you still have control over, and make the most of them. Reach out to friends or family or even me if you need to get something off your chest. Go hug your cat. Blast some music and “dance it out”, Christina Yang-style. Whatever it is that makes you happy and makes you you, go for it, even if you have to adjust slightly for Covid-times.
Overall, I just mean: don’t let the pandemic win. Don’t let it steal your joy, or your identity. You are still a fully-formed, interesting, accomplished human being. You are still you, and whatever you are, that is enough.
Wash your hands.