Create A New You: Life After Quarantine
The whole world has come to a complete stop. Life as we know it may never be the same. Billions of us are impatiently waiting for word from our global leaders as to when it is safe to breathe again and return to our daily lives. We are all trying to figure out how to weather this COVID-19 hurricane that has impacted every part of our existence. Many of us have questions without any answers.
Do we stay locked inside scared to open the door? Do we go outside to get some fresh air and take our chances?
As I’m writing this I’m holed up in an in-law unit I rent in Fremont, California. The air in the room is stale, food is low, and laundry needs to be done. My cell is laying beside me on the bed and I check it every so often in the hopes that someone may be thinking about me and shoot me a text or call to hear my voice but nada. Outside my front door, the neighborhood is eerily quiet. No cars, no sirens, no kids riding their bikes around the cul-de-sac. Just a weird yet sweet silence. No distractions from the outside world. And strangely enough, I find myself at peace.
This is the perfect time to think. The perfect space to create.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t wish for something like this to happen. The realities of this pandemic cross my mind frequently day and night. I’m constantly checking news sites and social media for any new information that will ease my worries. I am concerned for my family and friends. What if my mom or sister gets sick? What if one of my friends falls victim to the illness? What if I do? Will the coronavirus cause countries across the globe to go into depression? All of these thoughts run through my mind. So much so that I have to purposely avoid watching the news or speaking with neighbors about what’s going on in the world because it fucks with my mind and gives me anxiety, something none of us need more of with all that’s already going on.
But what this pandemic has given us is a chance to slow down. A chance to realign ourselves with our dreams and discover our purpose. How many of us have been running around here stuck in the same rat race? Just working and praying for the week to fly by so we can hurry up and get to the weekend so that we can turn around and do it all over again Monday morning. For many of us, this is our entire existence. Deep down, we want more out of life, and yet we make excuses as to why we don’t have the time to go after our dreams.
Well, my friends, now is the time.
“But what this pandemic has given us is a chance to slow down. A chance to realign ourselves with our dreams and discover our purpose.”
We can’t use our dead-end jobs as an excuse. Jobs have been canceled. Nor can we use happy hours, friends birthdays, family gatherings, or work events as an excuse because all of that has been canceled as well. Right now, all we are left with is time. The question is, what are we going to do with this time. Are we going to binge Netflix and chill or are we going to start working on that side hustle and create the life of our dreams?
I don’t know about you but this halt hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been using this “downtime” to reflect and reevaluate my life and what is important to me. In the last couple of months before all of this started, I found myself steering away from my purpose and back into old habits. Truthfully, I was tempted to go back to environments that were familiar but I knew no longer suited me and offered no challenge to grow or explore new opportunities. I didn’t want to put in the work necessary to change.
However, this quarantine has allowed me time to cut out the outside noise, clear out some mental space, and refocus. I’ve made an effort to reconnect with mentors and my creative friends, started listening to podcasts again (check out Andy Frisella REALAF if you are looking for a personal development/entrepreneur podcast to help you along your journey and get you back on track), started reading more, and got back to researching business-related topics on youtube. Things that I would have normally rushed through due to obligations with work and social life I now have plenty of time for and I have been inspired by others who are using this time to freely create. I’ve added new goals to my vision board and wrote out a budget so I can invest more funds into my dreams. It has been very therapeutic and frankly, there is no excuse.
So, what does that mean?
It means that it is time for us to take back our time. Our creativity and innovation cannot and should not be confined. We may no longer be commuting to work, stuck an hour plus in traffic or spending hours browsing around Target or discussing the workweek with our drinking buddies at the local dive every Friday night, and life as we have always known it has been put on pause. But, we still exist. That inner voice that is begging us to create still exists and for many of us it is louder than ever. Our bodies may be on “lockdown” at home but our minds are free to roam. We are not in prison.
As a matter of fact that rat race we found ourselves tied to is our prison. This time that we have been allotted away from normal is an opportunity to put a plan in motion and set ourselves free. Wouldn’t it be great to choose the life we want to live instead of settling for the life society chose for us?
Now is the time for us to create.
Use this time to start something new. A youtube channel, a podcast, a jewelry line, a catering service, whatever your heart desires. We live in a world with endless possibilities. Why do we continue to settle for a life that doesn’t fulfill or challenge us? Why are we chasing a paycheck instead of chasing our dreams? This is our moment to recreate ourselves and become something new in this new world that is forming around us.
There is no more normal.
That normal that we are desperately trying to hold on to is dying fast and it’s up to us to adapt. Normal isn’t working anymore. Deep down you know it. We all know it. If the coronavirus has shown us anything it’s that life can change at any moment. At any given time it can be taken away from us. I don’t know about you but I’d rather take my dying breath knowing I went after my dreams of creating the life I’ve always wanted rather than playing it safe and giving in to my excuses and being led by fears and dying with regrets.
I’m not sure what to make of my relationship with The Bay after all these years. I wake up every morning loving how the velvet sun caresses my face, but feel disgusted as I pass makeshift shacks constructed out of discarded pallets. What happened to the place I call home?
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