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Thoughts on Living Through a Pandemic



The world was my oyster.  But now, it just seems like a deathtrap everywhere I go.  Ever since the panic of a pandemic swept the world, my PTSD symptoms have been back in full force.  And I have been sitting with myself through this discomfort to the best of my ability.  I have been listening to the aches of my body and treating it with kindness.  All of the tools I learned on my journey to come back home to my body have never left my side.  Until this past week or so.  Today has been the first day I felt motivated to do anything remotely productive.  Today has been the first day I felt like moving my body.  I feel like everything that could go wrong, everything that could be placed on my path to make it difficult has been placed in front of me, an obstacle.  I wrote this morning, that I have let myself sit in the dark, moping space for long enough.  Today, no matter how slow, I need to move forward again.  Because you see, it's not only that there is a pandemic.  It's not only that our government (national and state level for me) is showing no regard for human lives.  The very people I have called my friends and have worked alongside for the past three years I've lived in this city are ones who aren't even taking this seriously.  Who maybe just don't feel the pain and see the suffering of others quite as deeply as I do.  Perhaps they know something I don't, of not allowing the fear to influence them and their life. Whereas I feel like my actions out in the world can cause a ripple effect that ends in someone's death.  And this is true all of the time, but it is so much more visceral now.  When death surrounds us.  When for the first time, I have truly had to face my own mortality.  And living in a world now with death quite imminent, with crossing paths with other souls suffering in silence, I felt frozen.  But I got through that feeling.  I realized that with death all around, life is the juicy mango.  Simply being alive, this human experience, the love, the sorrow, the grief, the joy -- that is the mango I wish to bite into.  The emotions are the juice, and I simply want to squeeze as much out of it as possible.  I want to be recklessly alive, I want to try all of the things and not let a fear of failure hold me back. Because the only thing we should be afraid of is dying before we get a chance to try to live out our dreams.  Maybe it will be a spectacular failure.  But the failure itself is a story to tell.  It is something beyond the mundane routine capitalism has laid out as our destiny. 

So even this suffering, even this pain that eats away at me, the demons that try and keep me down, this is my story.  This is my truth, my human experience. Some days it sucks.  Some days I think I won't survive.  But then I think about that mango.  How I wish to bite into life again and experience that burst of sweetness, the sticky juice running down my chin.  I intend to outrun death as long as I can, squeezing out as much juice from this life as I can before the inevitable end.


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