When you can’t go outside, Go inside.

At the time of writing, I am on Day 15 of my quarantine. I’m usually a pretty solo kind of person, but I also truly enjoy the occasional human to human interaction. Things like attending yoga class, collaborating at work with colleagues, and grabbing eats from a food truck on the weekend with homies are things that wholeheartedly miss. It’s these very things (and more) that I realize now may have been taken for granted.

I never thought I’d see such global panic and tragedy. As a Black woman in America, you’d think I’d be mentally and spiritually equipped for such times. You’d think that the strength I call upon, almost daily, would make me immune to the chaos going on around me.

It doesn’t.

In fact… I think it has made me, in a way, more sensitive to it. COVID-19 has invaded our life in almost every way. The way we work, play, and execute everyday mundane actions, such as grocery shop and going to the gym, have been interrupted. I don’t know about you, but the world around me feels so uneasy and mysterious…And not in the good kind of way.

This crazy world we now live in.

We’ve adopted terms and phrases that I have never used so much in everyday conversation in my entire 30-something years. Things like Social Distancing and Unprecedented Times. The explosion of Tic Toc in our social media feeds have people synchronized dancing at home in their pajamas with no makeup on. Work has turned into this online sitcom full of chain emails and video conferences with fifteen to twenty little Brady Bunch boxes.

It’s all been a little surreal.

To be quite honest, I’ve really enjoyed this time out the universe has put us in. She has decidedly said that we all need to sit our behinds down and chill out for a bit. And some of us are taking the hint and complying. Sure, with voluntary isolation and physical distancing, we’ve all been getting a little stir crazy… but, for me, it’s also been extremely cathartic being alone with myself for such extended periods of time.

In times of crisis and tragedy, you tend to see people’s true nature. And I really believe that in this time of crisis and tragedy, we’ve seen the absolute best and worst of us all. But, even further than that, we’ve also been forced to spend an abundance of time with someone we don’t always get to check in with…

Ourselves.

Me. Myself. and I.

It’s a good thing I like myself, otherwise, I might be in an uncomfortable position. And I say “like” it’s a little different than loving yourself. Loving myself is the way I care for my whole being. It’s how I nurture my mind, maintain my body, and cleanse my soul. In that scope, I regularly make decisions in like that cater to those things. Whether it’s having a glass of wine before bed or maintaining healthy boundaries in my relationships.

Liking myself is more a testament to my character. I see it as the way I treat the blessings God has given me and the way I treat others around me. It’s my work ethic. It’s how I curate my strengths and battle my challenges. I like who I am because I have worked hard (and am continuously working hard) to grow and flourish into a beautiful human being.

Not liking yourself would put you in the hellish situation that some folks are now in. A situation where being with themselves has forced them to face some pretty tough issues and dark demons within themselves

Take what you need. Leave what you don’t.

So, among the many lessons this pandemic has taught us, one thing for sure is the importance of checking in with yourself. Often, we move about in life think that we will feel better, do better, and be better if we just keep going. And (sometimes) that’s just not true.

On a personal level, what this pandemic has shown me is that sometimes you just need to stop and be mindful of not only where you are but who you are. We need to take inventory of who we have become and what we need in order to continue to keep growing.

In this interesting, unknown, unprecedented situation, where we are being told that the way to establish order in chaos is to stay bunkered down in our homes rather than going out into the world… make good use of your time. Use this time to focus on you.

I know I am.

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