Spending the night with Lixelle and the two Christines brought a lot of beautiful memories spent through our college lives. I felt ‘me’ once again. For a long time, I have always wondered how my life would turn our had I not entered into an exclusive school for girls. But talking with them made me realized that there’s perfectly nothing wrong with me. My thoughts, decisions, and actions are all mine – and owning them do not make me less of a person.
But the future I was looking forward to didn’t come into realization. The year 2020 happened. The pandemic put everything to a halt and like everyone else, I found myself in a fork in the road with seemingly dead ends on both paths. I no longer know where I was going and how to keep going.
Sure, it’s difficult to keep going – most especially if we’re uncertain of where we are headed, if things will really get better in the upcoming days… or year. We can’t defy death. With or without COVID, someday we will die.
But on the other days, we won’t. And in those days, we wake up and continue living – making the most of what life allows us to do (quarantined or not), spending time with people who matters (and also with those who don’t), and creating small ripples one day at a time.
While everyone is capitalizing on being productive in this time of pandemic – to venture into a new hobby, look for new job opportunities, stay on top of the demands at work – I realized that it is also equally important to take a break. To just do nothing because resting is also a form of productivity.
Here’s what I learned: you don’t have to be like Mulan. You don’t need to be strong. You don’t need to leave home. You don’t need to defeat men. You don’t need to impose physical force. You don’t need to disguise for who you are not. You don’t have to become a legend.
Fridates with Kamote is an online support group born to provide encouragement in this time of pandemic. This aims to lighten up the burden of each member by affirming what has been felt all through the week and motivating each other to keep fighting, to keep living despite and in spite of.
Traveling has always been my personal means of escaping the hassles of work and naggings of life. Weekends were my ‘me time’ – a time to recharge, to eliminate the toxics of my life, to connect with nature. But the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has left me constrained within the four-walls of our house, surrounded by concrete buildings, chained by regulations forbidding any geographical movement.
My mind has become a gruesome battlefield for almost four months of quarantine now.
Right now, I should be happily strolling around Beijing and Shanghai – learning about our cultural differences, exploring cityscapes, and finally savoring the fruits of a year’s worth of workload.
But I’m not. Instead, here I am at home, writing all these predicaments. Corona virus pandemic has changed everything that we so long planned for this year. Everything.
We all have our fair share of stories of being stood up by friends who committed to join a trip then backs out the last minute. But what happens if the one who invited you does not show up on the day of the trip and you are already in the meet-up place? Would you push through with the plan or… go back home?
It’s totally out of context to talk about museums and history in these daunting times. Of traditional drama and biopics. But when my mind becomes a battlefield of existential pandemic anxiety, I always try to look further and deviate. I try to imagine how the future would look back on this trying time of history – the lockdowns, community quarantine, social distancing, and frontliners. I know were no longer the same people after this.