1 year…

Darlenne Casas, Reporter

Its been 1 year, 365 days,12 months and 52 weeks. It’s been 1-year sense I stepped outside or even set foot in a classroom. How does it feel? I’m not sure, I don’t think you can describe it. Its more of a cluster of words fogging my brain that prevents me to realize how serious this whole year was. This Pandemic. It has changed everything for everyone. The sense of normalcy is gone and were never going to feel it again. I guess it hasn’t dawned on me yet were never going back to the way things use to be. But frankly I don’t think I want to.

Where things normal to begin with? I’m sure everyone remembers our spring break. We were all so excited to get an extension of our break. Saying bye to friends in the classroom, walking out of the building as every else did the same. How were we suppose to know things would change so quickly? It feels off. Like something else was supposed to happen. Something bigger. I think I’m just feeling underwhelmed. I didn’t mind it. At first, I was fine. Staying home and quarantining didn’t seem bad, in fact I needed that. I’m not a social person, more of an introvert I would say. Staying home and limiting contact with others is my strong suite, it didn’t faze me in the slightest.

I was happy. I get to stay home and not force to speak. I get to stay home and do what I wanted to do. I get to stay home and just feel safe; be me. But overtime it started to settle in. Slowly but surely, I started to feel what everyone else was feeling to. Lonely. I was surprised by this. In a home filled with people and pets the last thing I would expect to feel was loneliness. But its true. I missed seeing people. I missed my friends oddly enough. Don’t get me wrong I love them, but the pandemic gave me a excuse not to socialize and stay home. I get so drained from talking its funny really. I was alone. I remember hearing this somewhere and never understanding it till now,” Have you ever felt lonely even though your surrounded by people?”. Now I do. After 5 months of staying home I felt lonely. What did I do, not much I continued what I was doing.

But besides the slowly creeping loneliness peering over my shoulder another thing was weighing my mind. And it was the future. How is this pandemic going to effect it? I wondered after months of ignoring it, how am I gonna go on? Countless friends and classmates of mine are getting accepted to their dream colleges. Getting scholarships and grants to go to the school of their dreams. And then there was me, while my classmates where being successful already I was sitting down drawing Pokémon ignoring the fear building up inside me. I was nervous and terrified. Even now. I didn’t complete my FASAS yet that should’ve been done in October. What do I want to do with my life? Is art even the career I want to pursue? What about the money? To say the least being left to my mind’s thoughts left me overwhelmed, the pandemic left me open to think for once. Which sounds bad but I don’t like thinking much. They say knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss, they contradict each other and that’s always on my mind too.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m just going along with things coming as they go. I don’t like feeling pressured, its crawls up my spine and pecks at my head, like an annoying little woodpecker. I feel targeted like someone’s peering over my shoulder making sure I’m doing what’s best. But what is the best? The pandemic has changed so much, is the definition of what’s best for me the same as it was a year ago? How would I know? I’m just trying to do what I feel like is right, but sometimes it feels like I’m not doing a lot. I feel like I should be doing more but what? I think that’s something everyone feels in their lives. Oh, the girl I went to high school with has 3 kids now. Oh, the guy I sat next to in algebra got accepted to Harvard full ride. So, what about me? What am I doing? Questions flood my brain constantly, but I never have answers for it. So, what I do? I just go on hoping ill to get somewhere, somewhere where I feel content and happy.

I’m not sure how I feel now. I’m doing ok, well at least I feel ok. Things happened and things are gone now, but what I can I do about it?  It happened and I can only do so much. I miss people and things, but this is our new normal now isn’t it? As hollow as it sounds its true. This is our life now and the way you perceive it is up to you. The world may be different but it’s still the one I learned to grow and love in. Life is what you make it. I’m grateful I had this time to learn and recollect myself. I feel like I’m in control despite all my worries for the future. All I can do is go forward and try I suppose. The pandemic has changed a lot of things but the last thing I thought it would change would be me. And I’m not mad at it.