It’s easy because, let’s face it, there is nowhere else to be most days. It’s easier for some of us to work from home. We have all enjoyed the ease of not showering or dressing up for work. We have appreciated some more time with our families. It has been so much easier not having to work around schedules, games and appointments. It’s easy to order take out and stay home and watch Hamilton for the third time.
It’s hard though, because we live in a culture that thrives on making plans, taking vacations and escaping in any way we can. Our immediate future feels uncertain. One day kids are going to school, the next they are learning remotely, sports are on and then they are off. You might have been working remotely, been furloughed and maybe lost your job. Maybe all three happened to you. From one day to the next, here, can change in a heartbeat. We are okay with being here when we know what comes next, when what we expect to happen is very likely to happen. These last six months have been anything but expected.
On Wednesday, we posted some song lyrics from Ben Rector’s song, Peace.
I used to think that there was a place I would rather be
‘Til I got there enough times to realize that you are only ever here
I’ve been thinking a lot about these words lately. I, too, have found myself thinking about where I would rather be. How many times have we all gone looking for peace; contentment, only to find out that your life follows you wherever you go? During quarantine, we have all dreamt of where we would go, what we would do, who we would go with, all while binge-watching Netflix, scrolling through social media or holding a drink in our hand. We find ourselves escaping, while looking for ways to escape. We claim to be here, but our minds are somewhere else completely. Our escape mechanisms have dwindled drastically.
We have seen a lot of relationship issues rear their head during this time and the end result has been devastating in some cases. So many people are deciding that they can’t be with the person they thought they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with. This isn’t the result of quarantine. Quarantine just acted as a magnifying glass to what was already there. It’s the result of being here for days on end and not being able to look away. It’s the result of having to stay home. It’s the result of seeing, maybe for the first time in a long time, yourself and possibly the other person up close. It’s the result of being unable to escape your life. It’s the result of having to take stock of what your life really looks like and whether you are truly happy. It’s the result of acknowledging the fault line and deciding whether it’s just a crack or there is potential for an earthquake.
Some people have decided that the earthquake is imminent and they have taken cover, so to speak, and gotten out of dodge. Everyday, we hear about another couple who has split. Some have been married for months, while others have been married for decades. Still, other people are lonely. They are craving physical contact and real interaction with other people and they will do anything to get it. People are reaching their breaking point.
People evolve, jobs are lost, our health can change in an instant, illness and death happen, financial troubles can plague you and children can bring about an insurmountable amount of stress. Being able to escape the realities of our world keep us sane and if not truly happy, give us the illusion of happiness.
Being here the last 6 months has magnified everything. The things that were easy have gotten easier and the things that were already a little hard might feel like they are unmanageable. You are not alone. Sometimes, being here means we have to make difficult decisions. And believe me, you would have had to make these decisions sooner or later, quarantine just brought it to your attention sooner.
I don’t know how much longer we will be here, in this unexpected place, but we all need to take a collective breath and remember that here is really the only place we can ever truly be. Trust that where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be right now whether it’s easy or hard.