Volume 2, Issue 6: 10 Things I Have Learned During the Pandemmy

Hi friends! This is quite a week. First of all, for many folks in the United States, Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend so turn your clocks forward and lose an hour.

Also, today (March 12th) is the 1 year anniversary of when I started working from home and sheltering in place for the pandemic. For today’s newsletter, I wanted to reflect on some things I have learned about myself in the past year. I think we have all learned a lot about other people as well, but I’m definitely not going to open that flaming box of trash right now, especially what I have learned about others with regards to anti-Blackness and social justice.

Author’s note: Not all of you hang out in the same places on the internet as I do so whenever you see a seemingly out-of-place word below that starts with a ‘p’ it’s just a stand-in for “pandemic.”

Lesson 1: I don’t get bored

I can literally always find something to be doing. Is that healthy to be able to do this? I don’t know. But I can always keep myself occupied.

Lesson 2: I’ve confirmed that I married the right person (for me)

We live in a one-bedroom apartment and spend the majority of almost every day working three feet from each other, across our dining table. I still wake up every day excited that I get to spend the entire day with my best friend.

Lesson 3: It doesn’t take much for me to gain a hint of agoraphobia

From the Mayo Clinic Website:

Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed. You fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd.

Honestly, I don’t know when I’ll ever feel safe doing something like going to a concert or a theme park ever again and this feeling set in fairly quickly. I hate to say it, but I don’t even know when I’ll feel safe eating in a restaurant again.

Lesson 4: I do great when things are scheduled and I’m shitty when left to my own devices

We have had an exercise bike for 2 years. I did not use it at all in the past year until Monday of this week. Because I put two 15-minute calendar events on each day to do exactly that and since it is on my calendar, I do it. Amazing.

Contrary to popular belief, most of my writing has been done by the seat of my pants. It wasn’t until my friend Harmony asked me if I had a writing schedule did I actually sit down and make one. I started the writing schedule this week and holy shit, that’s gonna be its own separate newsletter issue. (You can check out Harmony’s newsletter here. They’re awesome. They have knuckle tats that say “READ MORE.” I stan.)

Lesson 5: I can keep up with a weekly newsletter!

I thought the panini would break me but no, I’ve sent out a newsletter every week, sometimes even an extra one here and there. I’m endlessly amazed that I continue to have content, TBH. I have never been able to consistently maintain a blog or a journal but you all inspire me so much and I look forward to writing to you each week.

Lesson 6: I am great at reading new books and shit at listening to new music

I’m not giving up my Amy Winehouse Pandora station for shit, you hear me?

Lesson 7: I actually CAN learn to meditate and I don’t hate it

I always thought I was shitty at meditating until I learned that there is no wrong way to meditate. It seems for me, I need the hand-holding of a guided meditation app. But it’s done wonders for my anxiety.

Lesson 8: There is a limit to how much ravioli I can eat before I burn out on it

This is perhaps the saddest thing I have to report in this newsletter. On the plus side, I learned that I will gladly eat multiple forms of potatoes every day, if need be.

Lesson 9: Plants bring more joy than I anticipated

I grew up in a home with many plants and my grandmother had many pots of African violets she would tend to. We had a full garden in the backyard with multiple fruit trees. I enjoyed plants and I enjoyed gardening but it wasn’t until this pantaloon that I really started to derive deep joy from the greenery in our home.

Lesson 10: I’ve learned to trust myself and listen to myself

I’ve always known self-care was necessary but I’ve gotten better at it than I was before the palanquin. I’m extremely strict about my boundaries between my day job and the rest of my home life. I use my paid time-off and don’t hoard it. I listen to my body and let myself sleep if I need to continue to sleep (when time allows). I step back from relationships with family and people online that I find draining and I devote more time and energy into relationships that fill me up. I am able to draw better boundaries with loved ones. I am far from perfect at any of this, but the past 365 days have held my feet to the fire and thankfully, I’ve shown a lot of necessary improvement.

What have YOU learned about yourself the past year?

That’s it for this week! If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481.

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