It’s been a weird couple of years. For me personally. But as I type those words, I’m painfully aware of how that statement resonates with practically everyone: “It’s been a weird couple of years.”
Because yes, I had some personal stressors — a logistically difficult cross-country move, a series of professional betrayals that I later would kick myself for because I naively never saw them coming, and the heartache that accompanied my father almost dying multiple times before finally succumbing to multiple myeloma.
But also… hey, the COVID-19 pandemic hit approximately a year into the process of my dealing with these other things. And that hit not only me but everyone else. The way it affected each person was different.
I basically went into as deep of a stasis as I could manage — especially during the pre-vaccine lockdown phase. I read, pretended I was other places, and wrote as much as I could. I suppose that was a mercy of the situation — as a writer, I was used to spending an arguably unhealthy amount of time staring at the wall next to my desk and hoping words would emerge. This activity changed little during lockdown.
Oh, sure, my mood took a dive. And so did everyone else’s. And sure, I was getting less social interaction — pretty much only talking to the person I live with, although they seemed less in the mood for conversation and more irritable given the circumstances. (And even the virtual chats got sparse and weird as my friends all struggled with pandemic-induced mental health issues.)
But there was some escape in the form of reading and writing. I went back to some childhood favorites during it — rereading Sweet Valley High, The Baby-Sitters Club books, and the Little House on the Prairie series. The latter was particularly apt since I was making jokes about being stranded on the prairie during winter, since I technically live on the Southern US Prairie now, although it’s in a rather built-up city area.
Anyway, it’s been a year since that time. I’ve been vaccinated since then and am getting my booster soon. Due to delta variant and the numbers in my area, I mask whenever I go places (especially indoors), but I feel so much better about things. I have a social life these days — a modest one, but it’s plenty for me. My new normal has arrived. Is it weird? I guess. But things are so much better than last year.
And yet… and yet… I’m finding myself still having a hard time working through all of those heartaches of 2019-2020. Part of me is clinging to that old pain, even now.
Even as I am starting to finally make friends in Texas, even as I’m planning small/safer holiday gettogethers, I’m struggling with old hurt. The holidays are coming into the picture, signaling that time is passing – like it always does. But I can’t feel the passage of time.
For me, time just won’t move. It’s stuck back then.
And I find myself wondering: How are you supposed to get over things if time just won’t move?
The holidays are coming, but I can’t feel them. And the disparity is striking. It troubles me.