Anonymous COVID Story 2

Anonymous COVID Story 2

People showed a lot of humanity during the COVID period. Everyone was checking in on each other.

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People showed a lot of humanity during the COVID period. Everyone was checking in on each other: “how are you? How’s your family? Mmepatikana na COVID?” If people had gone through loss, there was a lot of checking in on them to find out how they were dealing with what they’d gone through. There was a lot of concern since we knew everyone was struggling with this, whether directly or indirectly. Even if it wasn’t the sickness itself, there were many things on hold – schools, jobs… People would check in to see how you were feeling about not going to work or not earning money, or having to move back home.

There were so many changes. Everyone was conscious of that, and we knew it was affecting everyone. We were all extending grace to one another and seeing how we could be of help. The humanity shown was refreshing. It’s like the world had been moving so fast, and suddenly we were told, “Hey guys, stop.” When you were catching up with someone after a really long time, even if there was a lot of casual conversation and small talk, they would ask you, “how are you doing?” And you’d know it was coming from a genuine place. It felt like we were all holding hands and singing Kumbaya as the world went down. It reminded me of the movie 2012 at the moment when everyone realized the world was ending and people were just praying together, crying together. It’s like humanity was crumbling, but at least we were together in it.

I think, slowly by slowly, as things are going back to normal, we’re getting back to the usual. So you only reach out if you hear someone is going through or has gone through something. It’s not as deep as it was during COVID; it’s just situational. I think because during COVID, things stood still, and most people were home more often than not, we kind of had the time to even call people we’d not talked to in months just to see if they were good. Now you could even wonder how someone is doing but not do anything about it to actually find out. You just say to yourself, “I hope they’re good,” and move on.

I didn’t like the COVID period because so many things changed so fast, and we didn’t have time to go through the changes. Even now, some of us have still not processed the things that have happened in the past two years. And it was both with international or national changes and your own individual changes. So you’d be struggling to keep up with your personal changes, but the world around you is also changing so fast. I feel that’s messed us all up mentally. I wish things didn’t have to change so fast.

For example, careerwise, things just went upside down. I remember how much I was earning in 2019 and how easy life was. I’ve never been able to go back to making that much. I’m still struggling to live (lifestyle-wise) the way I was when I was younger with less responsibilities. Now I’m growing older, and I’m like “Sh*t, I can’t afford myself.” And it’s taking so much time to recover. I had a plan for my life. I’d finished school, I’d graduated, maybe after a couple of years, I aspired to grow to a new position… I’ve not reconciled with the fact that all that is going to take longer than I’d anticipated. I wish I could change how fast things moved. Sometimes things move fast, but in a positive way; this time, they moved negatively.

It may not be obvious, but most times, you’ll find there are things you’re grateful for. You know, as human beings, we tend not to stop and be thankful for the things that we have. If I were to think about the past couple of years, I’m grateful for a couple of things. I’m grateful for friendship. There are things that friendship can just make better. I don’t know if it’s about relating with each other or if we’re all going through the same things so we can lean on each other… So I’m grateful for friendship and for navigating these things together. We’re all at the point where we’re trying to figure out what we want in life careerwise. Some of us are moving out and figuring out this being independent thing. Some of us are in relationships or have gained or lost relationships. So it’s good we can share with each other what we’re going through.

If you don’t share, you tend to overthink things and think maybe you’re the problem. You get in your head a lot, and I’m grateful I have people I can rely on and people who can also check
me. That’s important. These past six months since I moved out were so crazy and now is when I’m adjusting or settling down. Things had moved so fast, and now I have friends who are like, “Listen, we’re your friends but… just calm down, relax. We’re here for you.” I think I forgot I had friends. In my head, I thought I was the only one going through these transitions, and I had to figure this sh*t out by myself. Until I had people reaching out trying to find out what’s been happening, telling me I’ve been distant, and they don’t understand, that I’m not the same person I was. But I think I needed to hear that to remember that just because I’m away or I have things going on, it doesn’t mean my friends are still not my friends. I thought now that I’ve moved out to a whole new place and I was on my own that, I needed to figure things out on my own. I don’t know what it is. Is it a thing that just happens? That sometimes, we forget that there are people who just love us and value us?

Of course, when I talk of friends, I also mean family. My mum and brother have also mentioned the same things. I’m close to my family, so for them to tell me I’ve been distant is weird. Until I realized it’s true, I’ve just been keeping to myself so much. My mum was even like, “These days, you only call to ask about your cats.” And yenyewe if I think back, I kind of shut people off. But I’m grateful to be making the steps to rely on people again. I’m not an island.

Growing up, we always used to be told how female friendships are very toxic and they could never be healthy and thrive. Being told women are their own worst enemies. But my girlfriends have been my savior. Had it not been for them… I don’t know. I’m so grateful for female friendships.

I’m also so grateful for moving out. I think I needed space. As much as it came with consequences, I’m thankful for that. I was so comfortable being under my parents’ roof that life’s realities hadn’t hit me. Like how expensive life is. How you have to be intentional with taking care of what you eat, what you do, your cleanliness, and your space, waking yourself up and going to work… No one is there to do that for you. Now I kind of know what I’d want a house to be like for myself in the future or if I were to have my own family. I know what it is I want, even furniture-wise. Even the sufurias. The small things you don’t think about.

I’m also single, which is something I’m grateful for. I got out of a relationship that was wasting my time. If I was still in that relationship, I don’t know if I’d have moved. I think that the person would have made it hard for me to want to get that job or even want to progress myself. I’m grateful for the revelation that came with that.