It was one year ago when I canceled my trip to Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con and spontaneously drove to Michigan. On the way home, I checked my work email and to my surprise, we all were able to work from home the following Monday. At that time, I had no way of knowing this would be semi-permanent. While 2020 was a rough year for almost everyone, I have found myself reflecting on what this pandemic has taught me. I think in order to grow as a person, it’s imperative to reflect on my time in quarantine. I wanted to share what I have taken away from this experience.
Be Appreciative of My Experiences
Before Covid, I was always planning the next vacation. I would finish my trip and a week later I would plan my next destination. Since I wasn’t able to travel, I found myself going through old pictures and reliving memories of previous trips. One example was reading through my travel journal. Reading through my past vacations made me hopeful for the future and decreased my feeling of isolation. It made me appreciate all of the life I have been able to live. I was always living in the future, not as much in the present. I don’t want to lose the travel bug I have acquired, but I also want to live more at the moment.
Paid Sick Leave
While the stimulus checks are crucial, I hope the United States re-evaluates the need for sick leave. In previous jobs I worked, I would show up sick because I had no other choice. This led to everyone in the office getting sick because I showed up to work. While I think the pandemic would have progressed the same regardless of paid sick leave, I think this would have made a difference.
By staying home, I have been able to save money. Since I had more money left over, I was more aware of how I spent my money. I found myself trying to donate to various nonprofits and how that made me feel. After the murder of George Floyd, I started donating to NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and ACLU. I want to leave the world a better place, and donating money here and there helps. I’m fortunate that I’m able to do this as I was employed throughout the pandemic.
What Makes Me Happy
Playing video games, reading books & comics, and exercising all got me through this pandemic. It was a stressful time, and to get through it, I needed to figure out ways to destress. Additionally, I had to analyze my coping methods. Last April, I found myself relying more heavily on alcohol. It was a Friday staple to drink, and play video games. The morning after, I woke with a headache. I found myself having to analyze why I was using alcohol in the way that I was. I still drink, but I find I’m more in control.
I’m elated because I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My mom received her first dose of the vaccine. While I wait my turn for the vaccine, I realize how much Covid has taught me about myself and life in general. I’m excited to be able to get back to attending conventions, seeing friends regularly, and going to my favorite brewery.