It’s been 42 days since I officially went into quarantine.
After flying home to the United States at the beginning of my spring break, I was handed a piece of paper instructing me to self-isolate for the next 14 days. I was allowed to see the other people in the house, but other than that – nothing. No leaving the house, no seeing other people.
It was the first clue I had that I probably wasn’t going to be going back to school in two weeks.
To no one’s surprise, a few days later the university sent out an email announcing that we would be moving to online classes after the break.
A few days after that, our graduation ceremony, scheduled for the end of June, was cancelled.
Like thousands of other seniors around the world, I was absolutely devastated.
And then came the official stay-at-home order from the Virginia governor.
To remain in effect until June 10, it was by far one of the most conservative stay-at-home orders in the US by a long shot. Most other states, it seems, have been going a few weeks at a time, extending the order as needed.
But being told outright that we would be hunkering down for the foreseeable future meant a few different things. That I wouldn’t be traveling for a long time, for one. Probably not immediately after June 10th, either. And second, that this was getting really real.
Since then, I’ve fallen into a daily routine of getting up, doing some yoga, working on school work and my blog, and even creating a mini-course for my design business on branding, and then going to bed.
The days have started to blur together, and my mind has gone a lot of different places over the past 42 days.
As someone with anxiety and depression (like many others I know), I’m used to the feelings that I’m having. I’m used to being anxious about the unknown, to feeling lethargic and like nothing will ever get better.
The difference is that now those thoughts aren’t just in my head. The situation in the world right now is REAL.
So in an attempt to get some of those thoughts down on paper–mostly for myself, but also on the pretty decent chance that they’ll help someone else not feel so alone in where their head is at, I want to list out and digest some of the thoughts I’ve had while in quarantine.
1. This is awesome
I’m someone who is incredibly lucky to have a stable situation with people who love me and plenty of food. Which means that, for me, quarantine really just means hunkering down for a while and not leaving the house. I will survive this.
So one of my first thoughts, like many others in the same situation as me, was that this was going to be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the world.
I would have the time to focus on what I wanted to focus on, wouldn’t feel pressured to go out and do a million different things like I normally do.
2. Get me out of here
After a few weeks of chilling out at home, I started to feel that familiar feeling of needing to be ANYWHERE but here.
I’m a restless person by nature. I find it hard to stay in one place for too long. I’m always on the search for adventure.
So now that I’m stuck in one place for the forseeable future, I am feeling that restlessness more acutely than ever.
Not knowing when I’m going to be able to leave only makes it worse.
I can plan as many future trips as I want, but I can’t put dates on them. I can’t book anything. I can only dream.
Which only makes me more restless.
3. I’m going to get so much done
Another thought I had when I first started staying at home was that I was going to get so much done. Having an unlimited amount of time, with no commitments other than to finish out my degree, I was going to be able to really focus on both my blog and my design business and crank out allll the things.
By the time I got out of quarantine, I was going to have a thriving business.
And while I have had some productive days, most of the time my feelings are elsewhere…
4. I can barely concentrate on Netflix
After being cooped up so long, my concentration levels are basically zero. Although I do have times where I get into a state of deep work (which, honestly, is my crack), most of the time I find it difficult to concentrate my mind at all.
Finding the motivation to do things like listen to my lectures or read a book I need to read for an essay is practically impossible, and when I do my mind is somewhere else for the duration.
I’ve seen plenty of posts online about how this doesn’t have to be a time of immense productivity. About how it’s ok to not be your best self right now. But that doesn’t make it any less hard when I’m dealing with wanting to be my best self and not being anywhere close.
5. I have never needed human connection more
I am an introvert by nature and, honestly, more often than not I avoid social interaction whenever I can.
But after more than a month without seeing any of my friends, I feel the exact opposite.
Group video calls with friends are what get me through now.
Seeing their faces, hearing their voices, and talking about whatever it is that people talk about, I know that there is still a beautiful world out there that is just waiting to be explored. And I can’t wait till this is all over and I can explore it again.