One gloomy day in March we were told that we are staying home for a week due to a virus spreading in our country. Without even realizing, that week turned into a month and those months multiplied. As of now, there is life before Covid and life whilst Covid. I cannot really grasp the concept of normality anymore and, as I am sitting inside my room, there are so many things that I am grasping instead. I am slowly awakening to reality, starting to realize how this world actually works, how justice is not really justice, how life actually works and who I am becoming.
Having so much time with yourself you start to reflect on what you want and what you are, instead of what you have to do. Routine was a personal hell and then it was suddenly gone. At some point, living so much with myself, so quietly, so slowly, became painful. Days were becoming a blur and were blending together like when you mix colors on a palette and the resulted shade is not exactly what you were going for. I was missing the few friends I had so much that I wrote them paragraphs about how much I appreciate them, and I was missing what was before, even though I knew I hated how things used to be. I was becoming nostalgic about three months ago; I was baking breads with my mom and I started getting into manifestation and the law of attraction.
Living in Romania, celebrating Easter comes with a few traditions. We would usually gather around churches with lamps in our hands, waiting for someone to ‘’give us some light’’ as we liked to call the process. A pope would light his own candle and then the same flickering light would get sent from one person to the other. You would meet people from your neighborhood that you haven’t spoken to in a minute and just connect with them. I am certainly not that religious myself, but I always found this tradition heartwarming. Unfortunately, this Easter was different. One of my friends who is way more religious than I am ran from home at night, almost caught by the cops so that she could light her own candle. ‘’It almost felt like being in a movie trying not to get caught running away after curfew’’ she said.
I read a few books, worked out for a week, questioned my identity hundreds of times per day, I tried to learn how to play something on my piano, wrote some poems, dyed my hair pink and started being called ‘’Strawberry Shortcake,” signed petitions and stayed up to date with global issues, realized how this year all these issues are finally coming to light, dreaded how messed up everything is and then started being hopeful for the future.
I learned that change comes from within and starts with me, I learnt that it is okay to feel things but that I am not my thoughts. I cried at my online graduation and promised our teachers we will see them again. Our physics teacher told us that ‘’he loves us and is waiting for us to change the world’’ and this will probably stay within my heart forever. I then got into university and I am surprisingly filled with excitement for what is to come.
Restrictions are slowly being lifted and there obviously still are divided opinions about the existence of the virus. People even protested having to get a vaccine that does not even exist yet. We don’t know how the next school year will look like and over 200,000 children do not even have access to Internet here. Our country is flawed, in debt to the whole world, ruled by Christianity and corruption, but it’s ours. I believe every country has its flaws, especially while managing a global pandemic. I just wish we all got along with each other and tried to see beyond our differences because what even is normality anymore?
While this experience is a setback to all of us, I think it brought growth to every single person individually. I personally am finally starting to see a light shining at the end of the tunnel, but I know for sure I am not even close to the end of that tunnel yet. I started loving myself a little bit more and I feel like if this wouldn’t have happened, I would be much more farther from this growth.