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The world has changed

It has been a long time since I've sat here and shared my thoughts and feelings with others. So many things have happened over the period of time since my last post. The most obvious being COVID. Not a life was untouched by the pandemic. We shared this collectively - as a family, city, country, world. The ways we were affected were vast. Loss was experienced, overall changes in health and the way we view it, many of us experienced isolation and loss of income. Some of us who enjoy being more solitary took joy in feeling less pressured to take part in fast pace of life and the daily rat race. As someone who thrives on being social regularly and whose outlets involved going to the gym and doing activities outside of my home I found it long and daunting. I'm not one to enjoy stillness, quiet, or activities like watching television or playing games on my phone. It took me a long time to adjust, discover new outlets, and find a comfortable new normal. I had moments like many people did where I felt low, depressed, unmotivated, discouraged. It seemed as though I would never adjust to the changes. I missed my friends and family, I missed being able to go out to see a movie or have dinner in a restaurant, boredom felt like my new normal!!! I was tired of the news and the controversy and the lack of respect shared between groups with different view points. The social media posts that insulted others as we all just tried to survive the best we could made me angry. How could we act superior to one another or judge one another in the way we were handling something that we have never experienced before. For some, Covid induced panic and fear and for others it was dismissed as a conspiracy theory or a plot by the government. Whatever your point of view was there was someone to oppose it and it felt like we became divided groups forgetting how to respect one another. Some how we have made it through and have established a new way of living. Many things have returned to normal but I think most of us share a sense of caution in knowing that this is something we could go through again. As restrictions were lifted, I again went through struggling to resume some of the things I missed and readjust my life. It was as though I forgot how to host a gathering or be social or how to go out into the public and enjoy a meal, movie, or activity. I had to reform friendships that had grown distant. I am just now in a place where I feel completely myself again and where I have established my almost return to life before Covid. I now try to focus on the positive changes and things I learned from this experience. Covid made it apparent the many things we take for granted. A hug, seeing people I care about whenever I feel like, the activities offered in my community, being able to travel freely. I have a new found and deeper appreciation for many things. I have also learned how to be more content at home and have found new ways to maintain my self-care. I have developed new hobbies and interests and new and more creative ways to connect with my partner aside from dinner and a movie. I know that we each have individual journeys and not everyone has found their way back to a place of comfort or normalcy, a place without fear. For some it's been more difficult and Covid has left behind more permanent scars. People are experiencing struggles with addictions, relationships came to an end due to financial stress, and too much time together without any other escape or outlets, people who experienced mild social anxiety before now have crippling anxiety from having been isolated for so long, some struggle to overcome the depression that took hold. Students are struggling to catch up and settle back into the structured learning of the classroom or are finding it difficult to motivate themselves back into the world of school and work. It's an individual journey, as all journey's are. I only hope that we are all able to find our way back to comfort and wellness over time, focus on the positives and remember the way we once lived and found happiness and aim for it again, find new reasons for happiness, and never ever forget the value of a hug!!!

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