It was March, and for me, things were looking up for the first time in six months. My mind had entered back into my body, and my spark, the little flame that makes me who I am, had begun to flicker again. I wanted to wake up in the mornings. I wanted to go to school. I wanted to head to the pool in the afternoons and struggle through a hard swim practice. So, when the world began to fall around me, I continued to walk through the halls with a hope I hadn’t felt in months. My attitude in those first weeks of March was the perfect embodiment of the phrase: “ignorance is bliss.”
It quickly became apparent that ignorance was no longer an option as the effects of the virus crept into my life. The first thing to go was the spring sports season; then we gained an extended spring break, and eventually we realized that we would not be returning to school for the year. There was no end in sight concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
For months, I had worked to feel better, and the thought of losing the progress I had made terrified me. The hope that had so recently returned to me was once again gone, and I could feel my flame beginning to fizzle out. I felt out of control, a feeling all too familiar to me.
I began to explore this idea in therapy, virtually of course, and what it meant in terms of these unprecedented times. My motto for my quarantine became: “Everything else is in my control.” Each day, I set out to do things that helped me attain this feeling, not just in the moment, but steadily, over the days, weeks, and months. I ran and cycled way too many miles, sometimes both in a day. I rewatched all my favorite movies. I attempted to pick up the guitar, a skill that still needs some work, and I reflected, both independently and with others.
Those months gave me a lot of time to sit with my thoughts. Without the distractions of my normal life, I learned even more about who I am and I realized what I was capable of. I was able to grasp onto more control in my life than I ever had before. I transitioned out of quarantine with the best understanding of myself that I had ever had. I am not the same person that I was eight months ago. I’ve grown and flowered, and I’m beyond thankful for that. Quarantine provided me the soil to do so and I was able to nourish and feed my mind and my body. I am now left with a flower that truly understands its beauty, worth, and potential to continue to grow.