It's 5:56 PM. Hi there. It's been a few months.

I'd give a list of excuses for why I haven't been blogging, but none of them are good enough.

So welcome back.

I wanted to create a series documenting – I guess – life in the social distance. Think of these as paper airplanes flown out my window, hoping to reach yours. For connection. Companionship. A little human-ness in this very strange time. My hope is to make you feel a little less lonely. If you are. Whoever you are.


As an introvert, it wouldn't take a public regulation to tell me to stay at home. I'm supposed to avoid people now and spend as much of my time alone? Consider, it, done!

(Will I stress-eat and finish my quarantine snacks in one night? Who knows! What a time!) 

The other side of the coin, of course, is working from home and taking online classes. And on some corners of Instagram, an influencer is doing the exact same things I am, except much more glamorously. (To be fair, I didn't know silk embroidered bathrobes were part of the Work From Home starter kit.)

I'll briefly go through the stuff I did today – as in the stuff that took some good effort, which is why I want the whole world to know that I did it:
1. Cooked and ate a proper meal.
2. Called a friend about a podcast idea.
3. Did the laundry (and, with disposable gloves, cleaned the filters in the dryer. What do you know! Turns out it does make the dryer work like magic.)
4. Vacuumed my apartment.
5. Turned on some classical music and tried some watercolouring (my favourite tunes are Yo-Yo Ma's The Carnival of the Animals: The Swan and Salut d'Amour, Op.12, not that you asked.)

There are painting hooks on my wall that the landlord left in my apartment. I've left them empty because I plan on hanging self-made paintings instead of buying some. Zero progress so far, but might as well voice this out there for some accountability. 

Something about holding a paintbrush again for the first time in months, though, while humming to some familiar cello music. I hadn't felt so at rest in months. 

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This might be a very selfish, privileged thing to say, but I'm actually thankful for the call to self-isolate. Pollution has gone down, roads are cleared, and – if I dare say this – I think we all could use the pause.

The past few weeks, especially, went by in such a blur. On many days I'd snap and think, What have I been thinking for the past two hours? Many times, I could not name it. I've lost every track.

There is a space I enter – a hurricane chamber that sweeps me up in news headlines, endless scrolling, and neglect. Neglect of self care, of responsibilities, of other people. The air here comprises of anxiety, fear, mindlessness, distraction, and despair. I suffocate and do not see clearly.

Above this space, however, is a line. This line is what I call Doing Hard Things. It's the drawn line we climb up onto, where we say, "I will rise above this."


And on top of that, of course – once I choose to "rise above", and do the Hard Thing, such as doing the dishes, or opening the book, or getting out of bed, or turning off the phone – I enter the space I'm meant to be in. The space where I turn this self-isolation time into a time that serves me. Where I can create, and look beyond, and find purpose and strength. And yes, the bad news still have some room in this space (they are, after all, news to be acknowledged), but I choose to give them a fair amount of space. Stopping them from becoming the main focus of my perspective.

So. On this new distance. Dare I say this is a silver lining? Well I think it's too soon to seek for a bright side.

But I think I want to choose to rise above.

I'm just curious what could happen.

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Talk to you tomorrow?

Signed,
Jo

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