As I’m sure everyone reading this can agree, it’s been a long and tumultuous few weeks. Emotions, stress, and uncertainty were running high as I weathered the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am endlessly grateful to my various communities of support, especially my fellow DC YAVs and the DC YAV board, my family, and my friends. No one knows how to deal with a global pandemic; we’re all muddling through this together, and I’m glad to be doing so with the people I have beside me, both physically and virtually. I made the decision to head home to Michigan until it is safe to return to work, so that I am with those closest to my heart during this stressful and uncertain time. Now that I am settled into a routine of working and being in community at home, I’ve been able to process events and emotions of the past few weeks enough to put together a coherent blog post!
In many ways, it feels like the world has stopped. For days, all I had energy to pay attention to was the news and the daily tasks I had to complete. It was hard to accept that the trajectory of my YAV year that I had envisioned was now derailed. Even now, I have no idea when I will next see my friends, extended family members, or visit places I love. I miss my routines and all the places of community they brought me to across D.C. I’m going to miss so many events that I looked forward to, and I am grieving that.
All that said, I still have hope. I am still preparing for the future, my life going on in ways that I could not expect. I am interviewing and applying for jobs that will keep me in D.C. next year, affirming the hope that I can fully experience this time of my life. This is all I can do: hope and prepare. Hope for the world to go back to normal (or better than normal) and prepare for the day when I can once again ride the Metro, go to my favorite Smithsonian museums, walk down H Street, attend worship, take a yoga class, browse the shelves at Solid State Books, hug my grandparents, and on and on….Until then, I will rest, and be creative, and work as hard as I can, and laugh, cry, and pray. And I will be grateful for what I do have in this moment.
I am grateful for…
- My body, which is healthy and strong
- The ability to be with my family
- The community that I have through YAV
- Livestreamed dance classes
- Flowers blooming
- Books to read
- Technology to keep me connected to the world