Hello, friends. Anna here, checking in from day ??? of stay-at-home times in Seattle.
Honestly, it feels silly writing “staying nourished during difficult times” – but I just couldn’t bring myself to write “keeping it together during a living nightmare,” as accurate as it may be. I won’t dwell on the fear and deep sadness I currently feel. I know you understand.
I’m here in my apartment in Queen Anne, and while I’m very grateful for the company of my cat (he, however, is 100% sick of me), I’m ultimately navigating quarantine solo. While I bow down to anyone parenting currently (as the daughter of two public school teachers I have a good sense of the impossible challenge that just landed in your lap), solo quarantining has come with its own unique set of mental health challenges, painful moments, areas of discomfort, and growth opportunities.
After feeling pretty adrift for the first couple weeks, I set out to create a work and self-care routine for myself and have been – working on it. It’s much harder work than I expected. It’s been hard work to practice my routine, hard work to choose self-respect and follow through on taking good care of myself, and ultimately I have worked very hard to reframe my time alone into an experience of real self-acceptance and self-love. I am proud of how much more at peace I am hanging out with myself all day, even as compared to just last week. The idea of turning my aloneness into solitude, as opposed to allowing it to spiral into loneliness, has been one of my most impactful “The Weirds” revelations. This quote from Susan Sontag struck me in particular:
“I want to be able to be alone, to find it nourishing – not just a waiting”