Quarantine Life Part 3: Embracing Change

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I understand that people need things to return to normal. Keep in mind our previous way of life wasn’t all that glamorous. We worked long hours, hardly spent time with family, gave away our dreams, and for some trying to keep up with the Joneses. This quarantine time has been very reflective for me, reflecting on my life pre-COVID to now. I don’t want things to go back to how they were. Yes, I’m looking forward to getting back outside, but I want things to be different. In the coming paragraphs, I’m going to discuss why change after the COVID pandemic is a good thing and what I expect to change. With the current reset, we’ve now is the perfect time to examine our lives to see what changes we can make for the better. 

Family Time

I’m close to my family, but if I’m honest, we could be spending more time together. I can’t remember the last time I’ve spoken to my family this much. We’ve been reaching out more via phone calls and video chats. We even made plans to do more traveling and spend more time together very soon. This ordeal made us realize now more than ever the importance of family. Having loved ones who genuinely care for you is so amazing. You have to embrace and cherish those moments. Anytime that we get to spend together is a blessing that we mustn’t take for granted. Life is fleeting, and this quarantine is proving that every day. Live in the moment for as long as you can and let go of unnecessary baggage. Move forward in love is the best option and provides a more fulfilling life. 

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Work/Life Balance

Before COVID, I was working a lot. Not as much as I’ve been in the past but enough to interfere with my life. Cue in traveling, which helped to break up the tedious daily routine. I would have fun while enjoying a break from work. Now during this quarantine, I’ve had time to reflect on the things that matter in this world. Honestly, work is not as important as your life. Anyone working until oblivion makes no sense, especially since these companies will replace you in a heartbeat. Supporting yourself and your family is critical, but there needs to be a balance. Take those vacations, sick, and personal days. Work will be there once you return. Burning yourself out will only cause resentment, depression, and anger into your life. You don’t want to look back on what you should’ve done. There are no do-overs in life, so it’s best to live it to the fullest. 

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Dream Chaser

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I could remember. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow my heart as I believed that I could never make a living doing what I loved. Instead, I took up a more practical skill to make an honest living. The projections that others put on you is more of a reflection of themselves than you. I wish I would’ve listened and followed my gut instinct years ago. My regret as far as writing goes is that I should’ve started sooner. Anyway, it’s better late than never. I’m telling you that narrative as an example to chase your dreams. Sure, people will think you’re out of your mind, but so what? Do you want to look back on your life and wish, or do you want to live for you now? That’s your only option as you can’t go after your dreams and please people. If people are going to be mad, at least be winning at your goals. During this quarantine, you see how quickly things can change in a matter of minutes. Chase your dreams with the highest amount of urgency and give people something to discuss. 

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Love Unapologetically

One thing that saddens me during this time is the lack of empathy for others. I hear people say I don’t know anyone impacted, so the virus isn’t that serious. That is beyond disrespectful to the men and women who risk their lives daily as essential employees. I know four people who suffered from COVID, and one person still battling it. I never thought I would live in a world where this would be the norm. As a human being, you need to show compassion to others. You are blessed not to know anyone personally, but don’t be miserable about it to others. Also, let’s please learn to celebrate someone else’s successes. The number of negative responses I see regarding someone saying they purchased a new home, a new promotion, etc. is unwarranted. Have some of you lost your humanity? That’s why things aren’t going right for you because you can’t be happy for others. When someone is in their winning season, cheer them on. I’m sure you want the same thing when it’s your turn. Learn to be happy for others and watch how you become blessed—being mean spirited blocks your happiness every time. Don’t be afraid to give and spread love. Love is something that we all can’t get enough of, and it’s best when shared among many people. 

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That concludes the last part of my quarantine life series. I hope you all enjoyed reading as much as I had fun writing it. I understand how easy it is to look at this from a negative vantage point. My intention with creating this series was to show the positive aspects during the quarantine life. This reset button, as I like to call it, allows us to reevaluate our lives for the better. I understand the difficulties many are facing, and I pray that things turn around very soon. I hope that this series gave you some solace of better days ahead. If I learned anything, it’s that perception is everything. If I perceive it isn’t good, then it is. However, if I believe things are lovely, then they are. As the old saying goes, perception is reality. It’s up to you which reality you want to represent you. 

Don’t forget to check out the discussion question before you go, and I’ll see you next time!

What do you want to change or stay the same after quarantine? Why or why not? 

Mental Breaks Are Underrated

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I must admit that I found it extremely difficult to be creative these past few weeks. Absolutely nothing was inspiring, nor had I felt compelled to write. I searched the internet to find something to assist with overcoming writer’s block. I found helpful information, but nothing was still working. I felt like at this point; my blog was over. It would cease to exist, and then a loss in viewership followed by a decline in followers. I turned to nature to gain some inspiration. I figured the issue must be my surroundings. I need to change my environment to aid in my writer’s block. That would help for a bit, but I still had no energy to write anything. Anything that I did write wasn’t worth publishing, to be honest. There was no passion in the content, so I didn’t bother completing it. Honestly, I have no idea how I managed to write this piece. An idea finally came to me, I put pen to paper and went for it.

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The whole point of all that rambling is that it’s okay to take a break. Sometimes you need to step away to make things better. There’s nothing wrong with realizing you don’t have it, nor do you need to for that matter. Listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something. My body was letting me know how emotionally, physically, and mentally drained it was. I’ve been on the go for about a month and a half. The only thing I was doing is work, work, and more work. When I get like this, I find it very difficult to stop and smell the roses. It may have something to do with not being in a relationship, so I don’t have much to occupy my time. I keep saying I need to stop doing that and live life better. It’s easier said than done let me tell you. However, if I don’t make a considerate effort, I’ll continue to fail miserably at it.

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We all make excuses myself included about how I’ll do it tomorrow or only if I had more time. The truth is there’s not always tomorrow and the best time is the present. Start planning that trip, try out that new restaurant, respond to that unread message and most importantly use those vacation/sick days. You can’t show up for others until you show up for you first.

Happy soul searching!

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Dating Challenges

Getting back to dating after years of single hood can be somewhat of a challenge especially if you spent many years coming and going as you please. Once you’re in a relationship those dynamics quickly change and you have to embrace having a partner in your life. I felt vigorous about writing this post because I am currently experiencing this now. One of my dating prospects stated that he was concerned about my ability to include someone in my life. I have been independent for so long that it’s something he will keep in the back of his mind. Honestly, I was a bit shocked to hear this, but at the same time, I appreciate the sincerity. It was time for me to reflect on how I am presenting myself and what I could be saying as well. The messages that I’m putting across could be giving mixed signals that I didn’t anticipate. I would be saying I’m available and unavailable at the same time. That is not what I want, so I need to make some changes in this area. I had to set down with myself and examine what I could be exuding out to others.

The first mixed signal I was giving off was not wanting to give up on my current routine. I am a creature of habit. I would get off work, do my typical after work rituals and be okay with that. However, when you’re dating it is essential to learn to compromise. That is the first example of compromising that many people miss entirely. If you can’t compromise with making time to meet up for dates, then it’s not a good indication of starting a relationship. In my mind, I would instead make time when I’m not exhausted from work as I want to make a good impression. The other person doesn’t view it that way and thinks I’m not interested in dating. I prefer to plan dates on the weekend and days when I don’t have to work. On those days I’m more alert and present. Now I understand that this doesn’t come across the way I think it should. It’s a better idea to explain a little more about your thought process. Some jobs are more demanding than others so maybe dates during the week won’t work. It’s best to communicate and find ways to compromise that works best for everyone. Otherwise, people will come up with their own opinions, and it can impact a potential relationship.

Another mixed signal is that my plate is full in life and that I don’t have room for a partner. When my dates ask what my interests are I thought it was a great thing that I have so many things that I like. To my surprise, I come across as having too much going on and not enough room for a relationship. I even had one guy tell me that I come across as too independent and he doesn’t know what role a man could play in my life. I had male friends tell me that men like to feel needed and if that doesn’t occur they typically will not entertain a relationship. Now that I’ve been made aware of it I try my best to make sure to state that I want to incorporate my hobbies and interest with my partner. That way potential suitors don’t feel left out and that I don’t want to intertwine my life with theirs. Dating is all about could you see yourself potentially with someone, and if they aren’t presenting themselves as a candidate, it’s a turnoff. In the future, I need to be more mindful of what I’m saying as not to scare off my soulmate.

The last mixed signal is related to communication styles and being adaptive to them. In my current job, I talk a lot and often for the whole day. Of course, once I get home, I want to take a break and not be on the phone. Depending on the day I had I will want to talk more than other days. However, when you’re dating someone or trying to get to know someone communication is essential. The problem I have is at times I don’t want to be on the phone for hours. I struggle with trying to get someone to understand that because they take it as I’m not interested in them. Then I’ll try to speak with them anyway when I didn’t want to talk, and it sets a wrong impression. I try to explain why but sometimes they believe I’m making excuses not to communicate.

Another thing is adapting to the need for video chatting. I noticed many guys love to do it, but it’s cumbersome at times. Who wants to hold the phone for hours? I get it especially with online dating people want to make sure they aren’t involved in a catfish situation. However, there should be a compromise between video chat, texting and phone calls. Depending on someone’s day it can be easier to use another form of communication. I feel that I adapt pretty well to other people’s communication style even though I don’t always feel the same in return. I need to do a better job of explaining the nature of my career, so guys don’t think I’m blowing them off. I may have experienced a long day at work, and I feel like being in a mood to text only, and then tomorrow we can video chat. I have to do a better job of setting expectations around communication and compromising more often.

Dating already comes with its’ set of challenges as you learn to adapt to the other person’s expectations. You also have to be open and honest about what you’re expecting as well. Communication is vital as it solves about 90% of the problems that people face today. To overcome challenges, you must pay attention when they come up and correct them. Even though to you it may not be a bad thing but it comes across differently to other people. Be mindful of what you’re putting out there and if that has anything to do with the results that you’re experiencing. If you notice that the results in dating are less than stellar, then its time to self reflect. You could be doing things without even realizes it, and that could be hurting your chances for a relationship.

What are some of your dating challenges and how did you overcome them?

US: How the Messages Correlate to Society

I’m writing this post about some of the themes I noticed from the new Jordan Peele movie, “US.” There will be some spoilers in this post. Come back here after you see the movie as I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. Great now that we got the pleasantries out the way let’s get to the post. One major theme of the film was that Adelaide explained a traumatic event as a child by meeting her doppelganger. Of course, this terrified her, and as the viewer, we believed she escaped and made it back to her parents. Later in the film, it’s revealed that Adelaide and Red (tethered doppelganger) switched places in childhood. Red went to the surface, and Adelaide stayed down below in the tunnels.

Essentially Red stole Adelaide’s life and every day since Adelaide along with the other tethered has been plotting their revenge. It further explains why Red fought so hard to defend her life and her family. Before this revelation, it came across as a Mom protecting her children. However, knowing that Red stole Adelaide’s life, it puts a different spin on it. Red vehemently was defending her spot because she didn’t want to go back living among the “others.” Adelaide reminds Red of where she once was and where she doesn’t want to be. I felt this directly correlates to what is happening with the immigration issue in the US.

Some folks within the dominant group don’t want people of color in as it minimizes their existence. They feel like they have to fight at all cost to protect themselves. Due to the number of people of color increasing and the dominant society is decreasing. Therein lies a power-shift! The oppressor is now becoming the oppressed which is a position they don’t like. Everything in their power in terms of laws or other means are created to keep the “others” out. It’s fine until the threat of self-preservation is near. Once this occurs, it’s all about survival of the fittest. I ultimately believe that Red was selfish in this regard. She didn’t care about her family. She was only looking out for self and didn’t want the “others” to have their time in the spotlight.

Another major theme I noticed has to do with the husband Gabe and the daughter Zora. Both of them were preoccupied with technology and keeping up with the Joneses. Zora was so caught up in her phone that she wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around her. When the tethered family was in the driveway, her mom asked for her phone. She said Mom I’m not on it when Red wanted to call the police for assistance. Zora wasn’t present for the current situation. Her only concern was that her phone was outside of her possession. To further illustrate my point while on the beach Zora barely interacted with anyone. Again she had her head in the sand literally and glued into her phone. I felt this strongly spoke to what we are experiencing now with social media. Some people don’t have social skills nor how to even communicate outside of social media.

People are using technology as a way to replace human interaction which is why once they do come in contact with others; it doesn’t go well. The husband Gabe was trying to keep up with his friend. He mentioned in the movie that his friend purchased a new car and a boat to mess with him. He doesn’t appear to have a knack for the boat, but it’s view as a status symbol. That if he has the boat he “made” it and he’s now apart of the upper-class society. I got to thinking about the emphasis we place on material items to fit in. We need to be more grateful for what we have instead of what we don’t. The grass isn’t always greener and whichever side is getting the most water will consistently appear to be more green.

There is a ton more of symbolism that I picked up from the movie which could make this post even longer. The ones I mentioned above spoke out to me as I got them right away while watching the film. The movie made me think about some of my current life choices and if I am making them for me or someone else. I am indeed an independent thinker like I believe or I am subconsciously following behind other people. I often time second guess myself, and I take a long time to settle on big decisions. I am worried that I’m going to disappoint my family somehow or think they will not approve of my choices.

I want to go with my gut instinct, but then I brush it off as not being realistic. I can make a last minute decision, and things will turn out completely fine. Other times when I took forever to make a decision it turned out to be a disaster. I believe it had to do with the fact that I overthought it too much and I didn’t view all of my options as I should’ve. It is essential to listen to what you want and not others. Nobody is living this life from day to day but you. If anyone has an issue with what you say or do, that’s their problem. You only get one life, so it’s best to live it up; however you see fit.

What are some of your thoughts after watching the movie US? What do you feel the filmmakers were trying to convey with the messages in the film? Were there things that stood out to you? Why or Why not?