For almost a year, we have all experienced the few highs and often lows of living in a pandemic.
I began Discover with Deanna in September 2020 as a form of coping for myself. There is no doubt I absolutely have had a privileged experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to many other individuals. However, a pandemic takes its own unique toll on each life–from job loss to lack of milestone celebrations everyone’s pain is valid. Discover with Deanna was to act as a place for me to find ways to cope with my own unique pain. As an individual who thrives from socialization and academic stimulation, I was disoriented losing both in only a few months. It is emotionally staggering to not be able to hug my best friends, boyfriend, or family. DWD was effective in the beginning of its creation acting as a distraction from my pain. But at the time it was just that–a distraction. I was not healing or progressing. I was stagnant.
From October to January, I just kept feeling worse. I was working and volunteering in over five separate positions in an effort to make money to save for student loans and continue gaining experience. I was drained. Between throwing myself into work, searching for a more stable job, stressing from the U.S. in general, and trying to push myself to continue to socialize (calls, facetimes, etc.) I was stretched thinner than a French crêpe.
The holidays absolutely brought me joy (Tristan, my boyfriend, came home from college. I will never forget our first hug after being separated for almost 4 months.) but holidays won’t be the same until I can hug my brothers and my best friends aka my grandmothers again. What I would give to be curled up next to my Mom-Mom crocheting or plopped next to my Grammy as we work on a crossword puzzle in the early morning hours.
It was during these months that I stepped away from Discover with Deanna because I recognized it was only a distraction, not a passion.
In January 2021, with bounds of luck and after hundreds of applications (this is not an exaggeration), I was offered a full time writing position. The evening after receiving the offer call, I was overwhelmed with relief. Cue one hour of shoulder shaking sobs.
A huge thank you to my loved ones, for the hope, the encouragement, and the strength they constantly give me. Today, I reflected on the last few weeks. I have felt significantly happier. I am doing the things that I love: creating, baking, reading, and getting outside.
I am renewed and ready to begin again.
It’s time to continue to be weird, discover joy, and fall in love with life.