Just Hold On
April 2021 – Over one year of captivity.
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I’m not a captive, exactly. Sometimes, though, it feels like captivity. Over one year into the pandemic, and I am JUST SO OVER IT.
I’ve baked the bread. I’ve planted the garden. I’ve reached the end of the internet. I’ve watched every movie on Netflix. I’ve developed a new relationship with my house, as both workplace and home. And, I have endured what seems like endless years of virtual meetings; virtual solemn ceremonies, virtual joyous celebrations, virtual coffee klatches, virtual wine nights, virtual semi-drunken parties …
And while all of this “virtual connecting” keeps me sane, in some weird way, it’s completely draining, too. One of the hardest things has been fighting my emotions, trying to tamp them down into some manageable mess, stomping on them as if I am crushing grapes under my feet in the hopes that wine will result.
But it takes a really, really, long time for crushed grapes to transform into wine. And so, instead of stomping, I am working on accepting.
Having the right to feel
It’s a hard pill to swallow because I have always felt that my woes, whatever they were, shrank in comparison to those of others who seemed to have far more claim to their feelings of sadness than me.
But a few years ago – in June 2016 – someone said to me that life isn’t a competition to determine who has more right to feel something. We all have a right to feel, they said, to feel whatever it is that needs to be felt, and so I am working on it.
It’s ok to be bone-tired, emotionally overwrought, conflicted about everything and feeling like you don’t know what will happen next. There is a constant sense of uncertainty, your life dictated by things over which you have so little control, and a creeping sense of doubt that it will ever really end.
It’s okay to be over it, even when you believe in doing everything you can to stop this disease.
It’s a very long time to live under the kind of whiplash-inducing changes we have all experienced in the past several months, and all your feels – all MY feels – are valid.
It has been a lot. A LOT OF A LOT. All of it is a lot, way more than any of us ever expected to try to manage in our short spins on this planet (well, except the virologists, who knew this was coming and kept trying to tell us and so we just made movies about viruses and outbreaks and zombies based on their books, and suddenly those movies don’t seem so entertaining anymore).
There are those old clichés about having to experience darkness to understand the joy of the light, about it being darkest before the dawn, about travelling through the valleys in order to finally ascend the peaks.
All those clichés are good to hold onto right now because we are going to get out of this. A little scraped up, a little battered, a little older, maybe a little wiser and probably a lot wearier. But that’s ok. Because we ARE getting out of this. We just need to hold on a little bit longer.
So hold on – to hope, to each other, to better days ahead, to whatever you’ve got to hold on to – because we are getting there. God knows we deserve to be getting there after what we have been through.
Sincerely, Theresa Wells (is so over it – but she is holding on)