May 23, 2020

How can we Expect to be “Normal” after COVID-19?

It’s happening. 

Things are reopening—different places at different rates with different plans. As quickly as things changed, things are changing again. 

As unsettling as it was to see the entire world with closed shutters, being forced back into normal life might be even more un-f*cking-nerving.

It is not going to feel the same because it isn’t.

You are not going to feel the same because you aren’t.

We have learned life is far more fragile than we wanted to believe it was. We have learned the hard way that things we thought would last forever don’t.

We have learned that control is an illusion—there are no guarantees, and life can change overnight without warning. And now we’re supposed to put on a mask and a brave face and start pretending like reopening means everything will get us back to normal?

It won’t.

It’s okay to feel uncertain in surrender. It’s okay to have no answers. It’s okay not to know what’s going to happen next or how we’re going to get through the day.

We need to take our time. Take as much time as is needed, as much time as we can. Just because someone else says it’s time or because other people are headed to the mall or the beach like it’s a vacation doesn’t mean we have to or we should. Set a pace that allows for the most peace.

Expect and accept that we may feel anxious and that anxiety might feel paralyzing. Nothing is wrong with us if we feel uneasy. It doesn’t mean we’re weak or broken. It means we’re human. Make peace with the anxiety. It doesn’t intend us any harm.

Every single choice we make is going to require us to measure some element of risk that feels like life and death decision-making. It will be exhausting. We will question ourselves at every turn. We need to remind ourselves daily to listen to our intuition without exception. Intuition, by its nature, might not seem logical. Follow it anyway.

We might experience a kind of exhaustion we can’t quantify. Hypervigilance will f*ck with our head and steal our energy. We will have to rest. We will have to unplug. We will have to care for ourselves like we never have before. We are worthy of all the attention we require. We must give ourselves what we need.

We might need to be supported. We might need help. I might need help. We might have to help each other. That is the way this is going to work. It’s okay to need help.

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