REFLECTING, A YEAR LATER. HAVE YOU GROWN?
Most of us are at the one-year mark from the start of the pandemic. Depending on where you live this likely meant lockdown, shelter in place orders, shortages of things like toilet paper and other supplies. It also brought on challenges related to learning to navigate working from home, limited contact with friends and family, and juggling kids schooling remotely.
There was a lot of fear and uncertainty and that caused additional stress, fatigue and anxiety to blossom where it may not have been before.
Zoom fatigue became a common phrase. Maskne was now something to worry about. It seemed like everyone on social media had become a medical expert and a political analyst seemingly overnight.
I started out the pandemic in south Orange County California. I had been living in California for the better part of 8 years, with the exception of a year spent in the Nashville area for work. I had returned about a year prior to complete my bachelor’s degree and to wrap up a few other things before finally deciding that California wasn’t where I wanted to stay long term.
Prior to the start of the new year I had already made plans to move to South Florida. This was a long time coming. I had actually explored making this move 8 years earlier, prior to moving to California but for personal reasons had headed west instead.
I’m grateful for the things I learned in California, the friends I made, and my rescue dog Hess. It was time to make the move.
As March approached and news out of Italy and other parts of Europe were coming in, I was getting really nervous. I had a move date scheduled for March 30st. I was shipping my things to Florida and driving but wasn’t sure if the entire state was going to be locked down.
I was also really anxious about hotels as I traveled. How would they be handling the pandemic? Would there be restaurants that would deliver food? Masks weren’t really a “thing” yet, but gloves were being encouraged and sanitizing hard surfaces was. Except it was nearly impossible to get supplies.
I had some gloves that I had purchased at a local home improvement store. I was lucky enough to have one container of wipes. I also had some bleach cleaner and paper towels. I have always washed my hands frequently and continued to do this during my trip.
My moving day came. There were some bumps with movers, but things went relatively well. I did not make it out of California on day one due to a delay caused by movers. In all it took about five days to make the journey from coast to coast.
KEY LEARNINGS AND GROWTH
This was not my first big move. I moved from Minnesota to California, from California to Tennessee, and from Tennessee to California. This was certainly my first during a pandemic, however. Stress was high and the need to do what needed to be done in the moment was my priority.
When I left California, I packed enough in my car to last me two weeks (clothing, etc). Upon arriving I realized that I was going to be wearing that clothing a lot longer than I planned. Learning to adapt and manage my expectations became very important.
Thankfully, I was staying with a good friend and I didn’t have to worry about housing right away. No apartments were even doing showings! My things arrived and were safely in storage. It became more about prioritizing basic needs.
As time passed and things began to open up, I was able to make appointments to view a few apartments. This wasn’t until June though! It wasn’t until almost the end of June that I took possession of my apartment and was able to move my things out of storage into my new place.
Throughout all of this I learned a lot. Being patient was a big one. Especially for me this is still a struggle. I am someone that craves routine and order. When I do not have my things around me and on top of that I don’t have structure, I can feel very anxious. I had to learn how to create a sense of routine within my new surroundings until I could be back in my own place.
Compassion for others was another key takeaway. Because of what I do, I pick up on others emotions very easily. Even when people are wearing a mask, I can sense what they are feeling because I am used to reading body language.
The flip side of this was I began experiencing extra fatigue. I needed to learn to take extra time for myself in order to be able to show up for clients, family and friends.
Growth isn’t supposed to be easy. When I was making the decision whether to stay in California or move to Florida, it was scary and there was a lot of emotion around it. The last year has been stressful, painful, and filled with moments that I probably wouldn’t want most people to experience. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those moments though, so it is hard to say that I regret them.
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