As soon as I wrote the title for this post, “Who Are You” by The Who popped into my head. While that wasn’t my intention, it’s certainly relevant to this post. So, in order for all of you to share in the song being stuck in your head as well, enjoy: (P.S. You don’t have to listen to the whole thing.)
Now that I have gotten us all off track, back to my main points…
During this time we all have the time (maybe too much) to learn and discover the things that really make us who we are.
We’ve had a lot of time to spend inside our own brains. And for many of us, this is an uncomfortable experience because in our normal lives, we don’t have to. There are always so many things going on, so many places to be that we don’t need to sit with our thoughts and feelings. In our normal lives, we’re able to push aside the uncomfortable and focus on other things. In our normal lives we’re able to ignore what’s bothering us to focus on others. In our normal lives, by the time we get home we’re usually so exhausted that we’re too tired to even think.
However, with this new normal of being home all day (hopefully!) and practicing social distancing (and washing hands!), we can’t escape ourselves. In this new normal, we are supposed to escape others which means all we have are our own thoughts. Even if you have your significant other and kids around you, it’s not the same as experiencing the every day rush of activities. Now, we’re forced to be with ourselves.
Now we are forced to understand what truly makes us tick. We are forced to recognize what truly brings us happiness. We are forced to acknowledge the difficult things in life. We are forced to face the things we have ignored for so long. We are forced within ourselves.
And while this might be scary, it’s also very powerful! It allows you to know yourself in a way that you might not have in a very long time, if at all. Who are you?
I’ve realized that I need social interaction more than I ever would have admitted before. I have always considered myself an introvert, and while this is still very much true – I also know that I need my tribe around me. I need the women in my life who lift me up and have made me their family. I need to see others smile. I need the comfort of sharing a coffee with another person. (Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my solitary coffee in the morning – but after that first cup, I certainly wouldn’t mind some company to share the second.)
I’ve realized that I hate cooking. I’ve always known this to be true, but it has become even more apparent in this socially distanced world we are living in. There have been nights that I haven’t eaten a meal simply because I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I have, on other nights, really enjoyed supporting the local restaurants and having food delivered, but (as with everyone) this is not a fiscally feasible or smart option. So I have welcomed many more carbs back into my life!
I have learned that I am completely comfortable being by myself for hours (and days) on end, but that I miss the sun. In Illinois, we have had some nice days, but not consistent enough to be able to set up shop on my deck in order to do my work. I have learned that I need the sun. I need the fresh air to bring me back to life.
I have learned that the healing I have needed to do has been provided to me in this time of solitary existence. I have had the time to look at my life with clear eyes and appreciate where I’m at. I have had the time to sort through the scars that remain and understand that they hold a story that is mine to share. I have had time to feel settled in who I am and where I am in my life.
This time in history is still an uncertain one and there are still many questions that remain about how our day-to-day lives will look in the future. Many things are still in limbo, but the one thing that doesn’t need to be is your sense of self. Instead, focus on you and figure out how you want to answer the question: who are you?