Is it actually happening? Are we finally starting to get out of this deep dark hole? What now!? I’ve gotten my first poke and my work is telling me it’s time to head back to the office, and in the meantime, I am eating my Corn Chex next to my plants in sweatpants. I know I shouldn’t speak too soon; we need to stay diligent, and I promise to keep me and my peers safe. However, sitting in that little back room of the pharmacy gave me a feeling that has grown unrecognizable as of late — hope. Reflecting back on my time living in a weird world for an extremely extraverted 21-year-old, I am serious when I beg the question, what now? I no longer have the fear of a midnight due date like I used to. After months of practice, I perfected the art of the side eye to my best friend over Zoom. I can’t remember the days where I could concentrate for longer than 10 minutes before becoming weary and bored. To think that I am going to be expected to wear “public” pants, as my friend coined the term, to the store again? Why?
For Pete’s sake, there is absolutely no part of me who is trying to see the silver lining in all of this. 2020 stunk in so many ways. I am just unsure what’s next, and you’re lying to yourself if you think you know either. I was late for two classes this week simply because I forgot to factor in travel time. I can go to the cafeteria and be perfectly content sitting alone (let’s be honest, I was fine with this before Covid too). I think my heart rate might go through the roof if you try to tell me we can go out to eat again with friends and not be worried. You’re also trying to tell me I can’t go stare at my plants whenever something goes bad? I literally bought a Britta to take care of those suckers, and they provided me the comfort I could not find in this year of solitude.
Alright, the complaining part of this is done. In true pandemic fashion, I want this article to be part rant, part satire. Now it’s time for me to be real. Under my mask I am probably making weird faces and I simply don’t put as much time or effort into stellar outfits, and cute hairstyles, but I am excited for this next phase. I am so ready for those awkward hugs after months of the 6-foot distanced – masks on – talk loudly because we’re outside – chats. Can we please promise to each other to avoid Zoom when possible, for at least six months once we can safely gather again? I think the sweatpants look is great, and even better, so is having connection with friends. We have a lot longer to go with this pandemic, but please (safely) have some laughs with some friends and try to feel the magic of hope soon. We will continue to get through the next phase together, and we will do it much more comfortably from here on out. Here’s to the future ahead, may it contain multitudes of joy, and elastic pants!