March is here. I can’t believe it. It’s been a year this week that the entire nation went into lockdown and we witnessed the outbreak of Covid-19. It’s amazing to think how the world literally stopped for the better part of a year. I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d be working from home for a full year, learning what “social distancing” means, being single for the entire pandemic with my family a world away… and winging this pandemic alone…
I had days and nights that blended together and I had weeks and months where I was so depressed I could barely put one foot in front of the other. My friend Bobby passed away, and I found out months after he’d gone. It was pathetic and I felt like a disgusting human being for not checking in on him (from afar, no less) as often I should. My ex Alex passed away from bone cancer which was brought out by months of him fighting Covid. I still thought about my Dad quite a bit, since he passed away in July 2019… I saw him in clouds, in my dreams, everywhere and everyplace, and it was nice at times, too.. reassuring. I got into vintage gaming about mid Summer and that kept me busy for a long time. I began feverishly listening to an Atari podcast and began building up muy collection again, from about 8 Atari games in boxes and a few loose titles to over 300 games. I became obsessed with collecting and playing these old 8 bit games and it kept my mind occupied and my heart so full. So I’m thankful for video gaming for saving me, too. I’m thankful for my family, who, although hundreds of miles away, kept on a semi regular Zoom family meeting routine and it was so great to see their faces and look forward to their choppy video, frozen frames and mass chaos of us all talking at once. (haha) I’m also thankful for my pets, but then again, I have social distanced my whole life, it seems… Regardless of that, my pets kept me busy and going outside to walk for two to three times per day and they got in my face every chance they could and I’m extremely thankful for the love.
I’m excited that I’m also getting my first vaccine shot this Friday. I work with kids and families, so I’m extremely thankful that I’m actually getting called in to get vaccinated now and not months from now. I have liked working from home somewhat, but it’s also made me lazy and a little unfocused. With grad school still going on and my side job with helping a local non-profit LGBTQ theater company, and with getting things set up in my new home, I’ve had little time to worry since January about being bored or being alone.
I’m ready to get back to normal life, whatever that means anymore. I’m ready to mingle and go out and touch things and not have to wear a mask, but I’m also a little scared of going maskless and touching all those damned germs. I do need to get out there, though, put myself out there and meet new people, do my thing. I have to admit that I’m a little apprehensive, though. I began going back on the ‘dating’ and quasi ‘hook up’ apps about a month ago. I noticed that most of the people on there were either too flaky to make any plans with (as there always are, but heightened during Covid-times, for sure), were too stuck up and arrogant if they had already been vaccinated (selling it as ‘i’m safe to sleep with’ and thats about it.) There were people who made haphazard plans without any thought of passing germs or the pandemic. It all scared me. After chatting with a few people, I realized that this is probably not the best place to make real life friends anymore — the dating apps are literally for hook ups only now or flaky people who don’t actually want to meet. Kind of depressing. I found one or two people to talk to who actually seem to want to be friends, and I was surprised to find that – although, one I went out on a date with (my first in over a year! and my first time eating out in public without a mask) and the date was extremely awkward. He had a lasik appointment earlier that day and was 45 minutes late to our date. I was literally about to start my car and back out of there and call him on the way home when he let me know he was on the way. The old me would have left after 10 minutes. My apple doesn’t fall far from my Dad’s tree.
Now I’ve had a small taste of the pandemic dating scene (not impressed), and now I’ve had a full year of working from home in my pajamas and doing my best to stay motivated, I think I’m ready for the next phase of whatever we can call this… isolation. When I look back on Covid, when it does end one day and we’ve had herd immunity, I will look back with mostly confusion and sadness, but I will also look back with excitement and pride – as it was during the pandemic that I became a first time home buyer, and my life changed once again for the better.
What keeps me motivated during these challening times is the future. I’ve got my eyes on the prize.. graduating with my Masters degree in a couple of years and on a steady ride to keep improving my life, and hopefully one day, finding Mr. Perfect to celebrate it all with.
Peace & Love,
(Photo by Brian Bolding. Near my old apartment in Uptown ABQ on January 24, 2021 on my final week there after 6 years.)
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