Things I Learned About Myself During the Pandemic

What a year it’s been! This day last year was the craziest we’ve ever experienced. We were at Target trying to get last-minute groceries when we got a text that the lockdown was coming.

I was at a brand event, at a hospital, in Ohio just weeks prior and we heard talk of the virus. Upon my return, we heard more things, but had no idea what was coming.

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just a girl and her dog wishing to be outside 3_12

We did our normal home routine. Jaden had her friends over for a Mystery Murder Party (the last time people beyond the 10 of us have been on our home), we bought groceries, and on 3/13/2020, we went to one of our favorite local restaurants.

small business support 3_13

Our last indoor dining experience.

1st online church service at home 3_15

And then we were home.

Where we’ve been for one year.

family of 9 sunset at the lake

Here are some things I’ve pondered on and decided is what I most

learned about myself during the pandemic:

  1. We can do hard things. We, as a family, made many sacrifices over the past year. One year later, we are still hanging in there, doing the hard things. We may not be unscathed, but we’re making it, together.
  2. Be grateful for the small things. As we sat in our togetherness, day after day, we learned how to appreciate the simple joys, celebrate the tiniest of victories, and look at the bright side.
  3. We are resilient. It’s been a long year. We’ve had our ups and downs. Some very steep mountains and valleys in our walk through this journey as a family, but we’re coping.
  4. We’ve learned who really matters. If you ever need to prune your friends and family, go through a pandemic. You truly learn who your personal values and ideologies line up with. Apparently, few in our inner circle truly understood who we were to our core. Those that stuck around? They’re the keepers!
  5. On that same note, we also learned how, globally, we’re all connected. This was a GLOBAL pandemic. It wasn’t just in our city, our state, or our country. People around the world shared this experience and we, unfortunately, truly discovered how we are all connected. There was suffering across the world, with no disparities for race, sexual identity, age, or economic background. Just universal suffrage.
  6. Empathy. Plain and simple. We already had it, but we learned just how many people don’t. This was both heartbreaking and eye-opening to witness.
  7. As a family, we were able to recognize that we do, in fact, care about people beyond the confines of our own four walls. We wore masks. We stayed home. We listened to the science and health professionals. We followed the truth and stayed away from conspiracy theories. We learned it was okay to “feel,” whatever that looked like for each of us.
  8. Finally, for me personally, I began to evolve more into who I AM. Not who the world, my faith, my family, has directed me to be. I began to further break down generational cycles of trauma. I started looking deeper into my own mental health and working through the elements I can do on my own. I began deconstructing what I knew about my faith to get closer to God and further from “teachings” I’ve heard my entire life. I broke away from people, things and beliefs that no longer sparked joy and were in sharp contrast to the person I want to become. A good person, who cares about EVERYONE the way Jesus intended, not just the people the church tells me I should love. In other words, I completely Marie Kondo-ed my life, just like I did my uterus! (Want to join me on this particular journey? I recommend reading Untamed, by Glennon Doyle.)

It’s been a costly ride in terms of relationships, but I’ve found it’s given me a better sense of happiness and I truly love the people left in my circle.

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