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Two Months Left of 2020: Life in the Pandemic

pandemic
By Brittany Zimber

It has been four months since I have written anything.

I would begin writing something and then stop because I felt it wasn’t good enough. I felt as if no matter what I was writing no one was hearing it. So, I gave up. I gave up writing. Because I was more concerned that other people weren’t appreciating it. I was concerned that I wasn’t good enough, so I stopped doing what I loved.

Seems to be an ongoing, “Story of my Life” type of idea. That insecurity with feeling as though you are not good enough will either have you fall into the darkness or rise above. Whether it comes to your work or your relationship or your parenting, you have to decide every single day to rise above and do better and be better.

So, today I decided to rise above. I decided I need to make that change. I want to do better and be better, so where do I begin? I went back and reread my post, “A Year From Now“. I sat there and wondered to myself, Was Covid the reason I didn’t do any of these things? Or was it me?

I think self reflection is important. I think self help is important. And I really think if you don’t love yourself, no one else can truly love you or respect you.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Over the past “Covid” months I became stuck in a rut. Anyone else feel like you just didn’t know what you were doing? It was as if no matter what happened I just couldn’t be happy. Was that me, my situation or Covid?

I went from being a Dance Captain on a ship and managing a team to what feels like losing my identity. I know so many of my fellow performers feel the same way. This took the biggest toll on me and honestly I’m not sure anyone quite realizes if you aren’t in this position. Quite frankly I’m tired of seeing people speak about how all performers need to just “get another job”, and acting like it’s so normal for millions of people to lose their job in the arts. I spent from the time I was 6 years old every day at a dance studio. Many weekends at a dance competition or rehearsal. Months upon months away from my friends and family at home to be able to entertain guests on a Cruise Ship.

Yes, I left before the pandemic. But that doesn’t make it any easier.

Also, everyone handles situations differently. Some people may have already had a back up plan. My “back up plan” was being a dance teacher. But, that also fell through because well everything was shut down for months. Fast forward to the summer and I was finally able to teach at some studios. Then when it came to hiring for the next season, almost every studio fell through. When people are letting staff go, why would they hire someone new? They wouldn’t. And this isn’t just teaching. I’ve spent hours upon hours looking for jobs and reaching out to people. But, again, Pandemic.

It’s hard to make a huge life change. It’s harder to make a huge life change at the start of a pandemic.

I spent much of the Covid Months cleaning. Cleaning and painting and rearranging things. I went weeks where I would workout and then get stuck in the same ole sad rut again. Then I got really sick for 5 weeks. Apparently it was Bronchitis, not Covid. And that was the end of the summer for me.

I gained 20 lbs. I felt like no matter what eating habits I changed or working out I did, I just could not lose weight. As a dancer my entire life this was also something that hurt my soul. So, just like the writing, I gave up. I guess that is what I do. I give up when things aren’t working the way I thought they would. I know so many people who had that strength during Covid to just keep pushing through. I wish I kept up with it. I needed that support and motivation. I needed to push through.

Unfortunately, I think as human beings we don’t handle stress well. I think we put our stress on the people we love most. And in turn, we end up hurting the people we love most.

I wrote my “A Year From Now“, on January 1st of 2020. And let me just answer back to myself and how I did maybe three of those things. Again, was it me? Was it my situation? Or was it Covid? Maybe it was all three. I mean I guess I have three months to fix the rest of my year. We all do.

I said I see less Social Media. And I wish I listened to that. (And if you haven’t seen Social Dilemma on Netflix, go turn it on now.) After watching that movie I did spend less time on Social Media. Which helped a little. But the damage was already done. Social Media takes you away from your loved ones. It blinds you to what you think other people are doing with their lives. You see everyone’s highlight reel. Very few people will go “Hey! Covid sucks! I gained 20 lbs! I can’t find a job! My kids are brats! My relationship ended! Wearing a mask all day is hard!” You will see the babies being born, how great the kids are doing in school, the flowers from the husband, the person who lost 30 lbs. And that is awesome!! I’m so happy good things happen to people! But no one sees the bottom of the iceberg. And I wish I started way earlier in Covid to stop with Social Media. As I said, you see the highlight reel.. And then you judge yourself on how well everyone else is doing and how much you are not.

Less hating my body. Ha… This is something I will forever work on.

I wrote about a lot of what I do see in good ole 2020. The year I thought would be my year. I swear we ALL thought it was going to be an awesome year. And you know what, we still have a chance to turn it around. That is, if you are feeling anything like I am.

I spoke about more hiking and yoga. I went hiking three times. That’s it. More yoga? Maybe 30 times. Which in a 10 months isn’t a lot. I did get more sunsets in. Sunrises? Nope. More Vegetables and Tea? Not really. Not really as in I started eating meat again.

More camping? Not quite. More Marshmallows on more bon fires? Not any more than usual. Man do I love a bon fire. Definitely wish I had more bon fires. More Concerts.. Which honestly with all Covid Considered we were able to make it to a few. The Drive in concerts were the best thing to happen in Covid Times. I said I saw myself loving on more animals. And that definitely did happen. I am an animal lover. They fill my heart.

There are things I wrote about that I wanted and I saw happening that just couldn’t happen because of stupid Covid.

I said I see hanging a Christmas Ornament with someone I am head over heels for. I remember so vividly having these visions. I had them so often too. Will it still happen? Apparently the rest of my year didn’t go as planned, so will this part? Did anyone’s year go as planned? Did you change your plans? Did you still do things you wanted to do? Did you grow? Did you fight for the things you wanted? I guess things don’t always go as planned and we have to go with the changes.

We still have two and a half months left. So in that time I guess the best I or anyone else can do is do what you said you were going to do all year. You wanted to be a better person? Do it. Over the last few days I self reflected heavily. And one thing I found is that I was putting so much pressure on myself and others to be perfect but not really taking responsibility for my own actions. We can’t control anything in the world but ourselves, our own actions and our own reactions. I learned and am still learning that we tend to complain heavily about the bad things, the annoyances, the things that frustrate us, but never speak about how great things are. I learned and am learning that a sincere apology with proven change can go a very long way. I learned and am learning that we cannot let the past define us. I learned and am learning how to control my fight or flight response. I am learning to apologize. I guess sometimes you need to be taken out of a situation to get a different perspective. Whether that situation was good for you or not. You have to learn from it. If you don’t learn from it then you will never grow. If you don’t grow you will never be healthy, happy or truly be able to love yourself or anyone else.

The last thing I wrote was how scary it was to want all these things. It is so scary. It is scary to be so incredibly happy because if something doesn’t work it hurts that much more. That’s why we as humans put up a front. That is why so many of us don’t try for the things we want. Or we stop trying for the things we want. Because if we don’t try then I guess technically we don’t fail. But that is the biggest failure of them all.

So here I am- doing everything in my power to be able to write at the start of 2021 how I didn’t fail in 2020.

I will be writing in 2 and a half months saying how everything worked out exactly as it was meant to. I will be writing on January 1, 2021 that I didn’t give up. I will be writing…

I am healthy. I am happy. I am loved.

Also by Brittany Zimber:

A Dance Injury: How a Split Second Can Change Everything

The Waves of Quarantine: Life in Lockdown

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