reminder to self: it’s okay to be bummed out

I have been wanting to blog but not blogging, so I am breaking the seal for now with this mini-post. Thank you to Narinda for the reminders & for setting a good example!

We are in a pandemic. It is bad and uncertain, and we still are not sure how bad things will get. On top of all of the ways this moment is exacerbating the existing inequalities and failures of global capitalism and U.S. empire, this moment of collective trauma and constant grief is going to ripple out for years.

And, in spite of that, I would say that I have been feeling … not completely in disaster the majority of the time? I am blessed, in a way, to be in a lot of sdq (sick & disabled queer) community, and that has given me a lot of skills to prepare for and cope in this moment. I have also found a lot of joy and movement in mutual aid and staying busy. And, of course, having class privilege and being a light-skinned East Asian insulates me from a lot of ways this pandemic and widespread shutdown are impacting others, including many of the people I love.

So, in general, I am appreciating that staying busy helps. I appreciate that most of the time, I feel pragmatic and/or hopeful, even. I like being able to look on the bright side of things. And also, in a coaching session today, my coach helped me to identify that I haven’t made enough space to just be … bummed out.

To that end, what’s one big thing that you were looking forward to this year that isn’t happening/or is delayed, one medium bummer, and one small thing that has been a surprising bummer?

Big thing: I had plans to spend a really big portion of this year in nature, including several camping trips with the FIRE Fellowship and a 30-day backpacking and sea kayaking trip in Alaska that I’ve been planning and saving for over the last two years.

Medium bummer: I MISS DANCING WITH PEOPLE. It’s something I was just starting to get comfortable with, that still felt terrifying most of the time, but also felt like a kind of liberation and presence in my body that I know was only becoming possible because of years of internal work, unlearning and growing.

Small, surprising thing: I really, really miss riding the bus alone with my headphones on, reading, listening to music, or just observing other people going about their lives. Walking to the bus stop, the awkward shuffle when everyone tries to let each other on first, getting off at my stop & not having to think about where I’m going, just letting my body lead and singing as I traveled to wherever I was going next.

I have cried hard exactly twice in the six or so* weeks that I have been self-isolating: About a week ago, I realized that I can’t hug a friend who is grieving (and also get hugs for good news that I have & want to share with friends). On Sunday, I realized that if we were still having in-person rehearsals for my theater company, we would have been at this beautiful dance studio in Pasadena that we go to once a month. It’s the first place I danced in front of a group of people, at my theater callback last fall, and dancing there after rehearsal at the beginning of March was the most free I have ever felt my body in movement. I miss it. I miss hugs.

And, also, I am grateful for these moments, the release of tears, because I have barely been able to cry, and because the tears are very clearly letting me know what is most important in my life.

* I had to take a break in the middle to argue with my parents about self-isolating and to buy groceries in my attempt to keep them out of the store.

One response

  1. big: usually i am on a climbing trip at this time of year, in between working backpacking and climbing trips for the spring and summer with girlventures. i was also finally going to work with eastern sierra conservation corps (queers in the wilderness!!!), which i’ve wanted to do for a few years now. really sad to see all that evaporate.

    medium: hugging friendsssss. and going into their houses to hug their cats/dogs.

    small: i can’t thing of a small/surprising thing. everything feels predictable/medium/big! maybe i miss being one of a fewer number of weirdos baking with sourdough? i am surprised that i don’t care/think about climbing the way i did before, but i don’t necessarily miss that. shrug.

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