Ohio, USA

Quarantine Life

Wow. What a year. I don't even know where to begin, seeing as though I haven't written anything since last summer. Not that I am going to talk about everything that's happened since then, but I have been wanting to update my site for some time now. Tonight felt right. I even changed some things up around here to give me that extra push I needed. Nothing like a new design layout to freshen things up a bit. That's usually all the inspiration I need to sit down at my desk, open up the laptop, and write about what's on my heart.
2020 came through like a bulldozer, one that none of us could have prepared for. These first seven months have literally felt like an out-of-body body experience. From Kobe Bryant's death at the very top of the year, to an unprecedented global fucking pandemic that has literally turned our world upside down (I still have not wrapped my head around this yet), to the Black Lives Matter protests, and everything in between, I feel like I've been slowly losing what mind I have left. Full transparency, I've been going through it a little. So many deaths, so much pain and anger in the world. So much to absorb.

This is heavy stuff for anyone to deal with, but especially for an empath, because everything affects me. Everything. It's exhausting, and I am tired.

The world basically shut down a week before my 46th birthday, which was in March. It's not as though I had extravagant plans, but not having at least the option of doing anything special felt....unfair. A couple months prior, I contemplated booking a solo birthday trip somewhere out of the country, and there were many close calls of me purchasing an all-inclusive package, but the prices for the dates I was interested in were slightly more than I wanted to pay at the time (damn Spring break), so I held off. I'm glad I did. Everything happens for a reason. Imagine me traveling to Mexico and not being able to fly back home because of this unexpected life-changing madness. Needless to say, I ended up spending my birthday dancing in my living room to D-Nice's live set, with a delicious seafood boil and a bottle of wine. One thing this quarantine life has blessed me with is the live DJ sets on Instagram. They've definitely aided in curing the blues. It literally feels like virtual bar-hopping. I swear, I haven't partied this much in years. At one point, the DJs had completely taken over Instagram Live, and I was present at all of the functions. I felt like vintage Inga again - "party girl Inga" - hanging out late, ripping and running the virtual streets trying to find the next best gathering to crash.

The last four months in a nutshell? Tears. Lots of tears. Questioned my worth (and my life's purpose/existence), spent more money in grocery stores than I ever have, consumed more wine than I even knew was possible, bought flowers for myself almost every week (tulips have really brought life to my living space; they're fascinating, and have a mind of their own), became more acquainted with loneliness (because it definitely crept in a few times), purchased many books, attended bi-weekly FaceTime check-ins with my therapist/life coach/counselor person, and even more FaceTime sessions with family and friends. Truthfully, quarantine life hasn't been much of an adjustment for me, only because what I've been doing was part of my normal routine anyway. The world is really going through it right now, and it has been taking a toll on my mental health, so I've just been trying hard to stay mindful, hopeful, and optimistic. Taking social media breaks on occasion helps too. I should be disconnecting more than I do. The internet is wild.

One fulfilling habit I picked up (since the beginning of the year actually) is reading a daily message every night before bed. I'm actually reading out of three separate books at once because they are all feeding me in different ways, and usually speak to exactly what I am feeling in those moments. The Daily Stoic, Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People, and Moonlight Gratitude. I've been doing everything in my power not to fall into a funk. I've failed a few times - okay, more than a few times. The good thing, however, is that I don't stay there for long. One day last week, I had a good cry, quickly sucked it up, went on a 45-minute walk through my neighborhood, then came home and cooked a delicious meal. It's those little things that brought me back to the present and out of my head for a moment, and allowed me to take a pause to express gratitude for my life. I always tell myself, "things could be worse." Cliche, but so real.

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