Quarantine Notebook

Photo by Kenny karlys on Unsplash

A window into these past few months. Written mostly in the spring.

My personal holding pattern looks like waking up seven minutes before work, afternoon naps on the couch, wandering around Trader Joe’s with no plan, and drinking a beer in the shower while listening to “clubby” music.

It’s one of those times where I’m just so relieved to be 23. I feel like I have so little figured out and am not reaaaallly where I want to be in life. But if I were 27, 28, 30 and still in this current state, I know I’d be way more stressed. Being 23 makes me feel like I’m not as alone.

Another thing I’m still thinking about from yesterday’s book — the idea that leaning into uncertainty and not knowing what else is going to happen can allow for less anxiety instead of more. That’s still such a wild idea to me. Counting on the fact that things will always change is cliche, but also just really hard for me to do. I forget that in more ways, it’s actually really cool and exciting to not know what’s going to happen next. I’ll get to a point in my life where it’s mostly figured out, or feels like it is, and that might be even scarier.

The fact that I have no idea what my life looks like in 6 months is scary, but ultimately good. I booked a trip to Miami today for a weekend with Ben without having to really think about it. Miami? Sure! Why not. I can do pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want.

It’s crazy to feel so consistently held down by all of these ridiculous standards I’m trying to keep for myself. We’ve been in this state for a little over a month. Just a month, and yet an ENTIRE month. Makes sense that I’m starting to feel a little bored and fidgety right around now. Deep breaths.

Been thinking about this time at home and the closeness, coziness, intimacy that comes with it for all of us. We’re secluded to our homes and our most real, honest states. Taking meetings in rooms we’ve designed for ourselves, creating routines that have developed in this private state of having a day-to-day that no one else is there to witness.

Hardly anyone sees what you look like, what you’re making for dinner, what show you can’t stop watching. And while all of this “private life” was always there, now it’s our full time. And there’s a new weight you feel walking in to someone else’s space. It’s like an inside look into how they’ve been living and what their world has consisted of for the last few months. All of their daily life now measured in square feet.

A yoga mat, a trash can overflowing with takeout boxes, scallions and baby flowers in the windowsill. An empty wine glass stained reddish purple. It’s weird, having it all so starkly in front of you. Like intimacy, uncomfortable at first but then kind of sweet and secret and beautiful.

I found myself taking a picture of my setup before last night’s Zoom call with friends. I sat there on my yoga mat in a kimono with a towel on my head, a heap of laundry next to me to be folded during our conversation. My laptop sat on the coffee table among the plants and candles and an IPA with my dinner of hummus, all littered across a coffee table given to me by my ex-boyfriend. And I just felt the need to take a picture of all of it. In one frame, it captured so much of what was going on in my life right now. The relaxed way I’d bring friends into my home while cleaning my apartment and drinking a beer fresh out of the shower. The makeshift ambiance I’ve created with candles and plants — how much I stare at them on my balcony every morning, willing my eyes to see signs of growth.

It’s been a time of making do with what you have but I think it’s made me love where I’m at even more. I’ve surprised myself with how much I feel I’ve grown during this time. It’s like a deep, sustained healing I haven’t felt before. The one I think I’m getting because of such a concentrated time of personal growth.

Last night I laid in my sister’s bed as she unpacked her things into a bedroom at my parents house, where she’ll be living for the next few months after graduating college. She took the electric purple and silver striped walls of our childhood and embraced the chaos in them, taping up photos from college and Chang beer labels and Vietnamese currency from her time in Asia. There’s a whole different world in that room now. One that accepts that we all need to settle in.

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