During these hard times

A reflection on life amidst the Coronavirus

India Turner, MOHI Media Editor-in-Chief

 

This time is hard. Not like a calculus test or doing thirty push-ups hard. It’s like doing push-ups while taking a calculus test while being stuck in a box. For two weeks. 

The hardest part is the not knowing.

Whether this will last two weeks or three months. How much of our lives this will impact. What about… prom? Graduation? Class? Sports? There are so many questions and what-ifs that have no answers and seem to change each day. It seems like every hour some huge revelation or new prediction had been made, and it’s exhausting and scary.

So if you need to pretend that this will all be over in two weeks, do that. If you need to let out your anger on a punching bag, do that. If you need to rant in a journal, do that. 

Do whatever you need to do to get through.

I know that for me the idea that this could last until the end of the semester is too much. Missing graduation, senior prom, last dance competitions, making the magazine, and even calculus (which I notoriously complain about) is just too much for me to handle right now.

After all it’s my senior year. I don’t get a do-over. I don’t get another season of dance competitions, I won’t get another prom, another graduation. If these things are cancelled, I won’t get a second chance. All the “maybes”, “probablys” and “coulds” about the future make my head whirl.

So I take it in pieces. For me I just have to assume that this will last two, max three, weeks. It’s what keeps me going. It may be unrealistic, but it doesn’t matter. It is what I need.

I ignore all the people predicting the worst (even if they might be right). I take it one day at a time.

I had my day to wallow. In typical teenager fashion I said I didn’t want to talk, ate a ton of cookies and sat in my bedroom for a couple of hours. I needed to mourn everything I could be losing: dance, newspaper, friends.

But then I got up.

I created an “art academy” in my basement and made a sign saying “India’s Underground Art Academy” and everything. I piled my guitar, dance floor, tap and pointe shoes, painting supplies and karaoke machine downstairs and created a space where I could escape and do all the things I loved. 

Every day I create a twenty-second dance video for my studio’s daily video challenge. It makes me feel like I’m still connected to that community even when I can’t be at the studio. I do my calf raises and stretches. I create a routine.

I set up a table and paint. I learn how to play When Will My Life Begin from Tangled on the guitar. I say that I’m going to learn how to write with my left hand, even though I know that won’t happen. 

I walk to the park with my dad and take photos of nature. I create fake magazine layouts. It makes me feel like I can still do journalism even though I’m missing the class.

I play Mario Kart with my family. I work on writing my novel. I write letters to my friends. I bake. I make the most of the present time and try not to worry about what next week will look like. 

I keep moving. 

Wallowing does nothing. Anger, similarly, does nothing. It didn’t bring my dance classes back or make the Coronavirus go away. It just made me feel worse.

It’s okay to feel those feelings, but don’t stay there. Be relentless in your pursuit for happiness, even during these hard times.

Tell us what is keeping you moving through our DMs or with the hashtag #monarchkeepsmoving. It can be music, activities, food, people. Anything goes. Let us know.