Out of all of the things that we expected of this year, a pandemic was not on the list. The coronavirus has displaced our lives in more ways than we could have imagined. Millions of people have lost their jobs, thousands of people have lost their lives and the whole world is waiting for an end in sight.
But while we impatiently await for the world to return to ‘normal,’ consider that you might be missing some wonderful opportunities to be happy right now.
I know this seems positive in the most annoying way possible. But life has slowed down for so many of us, and that might be for good reason and here’s why:
Maybe before the pandemic you were struggling to pencil in the people who are most important in your life into your schedule. Weekends might’ve come and gone, and you had to miss out on birthdays and gatherings all because you couldn’t find the time. But now life has slowed down, time has freed up and you finally have the time to catch up on quality time. The pandemic hasn’t brought us much to celebrate about but we can certainly be grateful for the time we have been given to be with our family and friends.
We have been given an opportunity to truly be present with one another. Instead of worrying about what’s next, we can be here in the right now. Life can and did change in a moment’s time. Tomorrow, life can look like something else. You might look back on this time and weirdly miss socially distanced bon fires with your friends, going on hikes with your significant other, eating outside with your family, playing board games with your kids and just the time given to be with each other.
The pandemic has willfully thrown us into an economic recession. Many people have lost their jobs and are experiencing financial instability and stress from what to expect next. This is a scary time. But it’s also a good time to reassess what we want. If we’ve learned anything from jobs and the pandemic, it’s that we are dispensable in the working field. You might be amongst the group who, after years of dedicating a great percentage of your life working for a company, was laid off — just like that. And while this opens up an array of systematic problems; it might’ve also given you an opportunity to assess your life and purpose. Perhaps this was your grand wake up call that you were meant for something else. Maybe you were working a job in logistics but have always dreamed of working in advertising. Sometimes when we avoid our purpose, it forcibly pushes us out of the comfort zone and into the unknown. Starting fresh, starting new is terrifying, but it’s also crazy exciting. There is beauty in not knowing what’s next. This might be the perfect opportunity to surprise yourself. Your life might be taking you down a path you didn’t expect, but the destination might be better than anything you had planned for yourself. Trust that everything happens for a reason and decide to love and enjoy every step of the way.
There is beauty in looking inward. We have learned that while many things can change, the only constant that remains is the happiness we can find within ourselves. Maybe you’ve been skimping yourself on self love or self care. Maybe you’ve been negligent of your mental health. Maybe you’ve been skirting yourself of all that you can offer. Whatever it is, consider this your opportunity to get to the center of your happiness. Let go of everything that’s holding you back. Let go of the false idea that you are not meant to be happy unless you have a, b and c in your pocket. Take this time to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. Yes, the world and the people in your life are important. But you can’t be of great service to anyone unless you love yourself. Create space just for you.
Don’t look back on this time and wish you had done something different. Be awake. Life is happening all around you, all the time. And as cliche as this sounds — don’t you dare miss it.
Born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico, Kaylee is a college graduate navigating the ebb and flow of this world. She loves yoga, snorkeling and falling off of paddle boards. She has too many favorite movies. And you can always find her procrastinating with a good show, a murder mystery novel or eating dates with too much peanut butter.