My COVID Diary - the raw
This week's blog post was originally going to be about my first assignment experience in Connecticut. I made it about a paragraph before realizing my heart and mind were simply not into what I was writing about, at least not right now. My first experience was nothing short of upbeat and amazing, but to be honest, I have felt anything but upbeat and amazing this past week. The purpose of this blog is many. It's like my public diary you could say. Writing, although I'm not awesome at it, is therapeutic to me and I want to document this journey. Along with this, I love sharing my experiences with others in hopes they may encourage someone to chase a dream or provide some sort of information that may help them in doing something similar.
I am a pretty positive person, I would say. I don't feel like I have anything worthy of complaining about. I have a job, I love my job, I have the best family and friends, etc. But, this week has been a hard and trying week for me. It's been roughly 30 days of quarantine, and I'm not sure WHY this week I ended up in a slump, and frankly, I have felt guilty for even feeling this way. I have felt this inability to express having a bad day because there is always someone that has it worse.
I feel so fortunate to have a job that I love during such a time of uncertainty, but, this week it's been a double edge sword. I have felt immense anxiety knowing what I know about COVID-19. I have never feared to contract the virus, but I am kept up at night at the thought of my parents, grandparents or other loved ones getting it. Taking care of sick, and I mean sick people is hard. I enjoy a little structure in my life and knowing when something is ending, in this case, COVID. I admit, I love things within my control, and this is so far out of my control that my type A personality can barely stand it. My sweet Papaw struggled with staying at home the first couple of weeks of lockdown, making daily trips to the grocery stores and home depot. In was innocent, he rarely watches the news and just as many others did not understand the severity of COVID-19. A frantic Natalie and a $38 priority mailed letter later, I think I have him on lockdown by tugging on his heartstrings that I need him with us for all the years to come. Put simply, I miss my family so much. I haven't seen them since mid-December and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight with Massachusets currently surging and me working in healthcare. I just can't risk giving them anything. But, how can I feel sad about this? There are others who haven't seen their loved ones for a longer period of time or just wish that they still had them here on this earth. Natalie, you can't be sad about this.
What if I end up with a canceled contract? With the low census most hospitals are experiencing and the lack of money the hospitals have coming in at this time, I am terrified of losing my contract due to a hospital budget cut. I have seen it happen to strangers, and I've seen it happen to friends. I feel so called to serve in this crisis and to be in a city that is struggling. I want to be here, in Boston. Let's say it doesn't get canceled, what if we run out of PPE? What if I get sick and then give it for Ford?? But, Natalie, at least you have a job right now. So many people do not. You have no right to worry about that. Also, Ford is young and healthy and would probably be in the large percentage of people recovering just fine, so you're not allowed to complain about this either.
Natalie, don't even get started on being sad about your Spain trip with your best friend being canceled, At least you were even going in the first place. You're being dramatic and shouldn't be upset about this either.
Yall, the list could go on, but this is my brain this week. Do you see what I did in all of these situations? I made an excuse as to why I can't and shouldn't feel from these things. I'm human, I'm imperfect. The truth is we need to feel during this time. We are all human. We come from different stages and walks of life and have prior experiences shaping how we handle current situations. Some people are stronger than others at different moments, and that is ok. The important thing is to ensure that we recognize and process these emotions that we are feeling, allowing ourselves to self reflect and grow. I'm not encouraging people to complain and complain, but I am encouraging you to allow yourself and to allow others grace to miss some of the things that were planned and the way things were supposed to be during this time. It is ok to be upset about having to change your birth plan, not being able to walk across a stage for graduation, birthday celebrations, to miss being an in-class learner, your wedding that is now rescheduled, your bridal or baby shower, a funeral that is now postponed, taking your boards, or a vacation with your family. Those things bring us joy and we work hard for them, and it is ok to be upset. Yes, there may have been rougher situations in history, but this is here and now, and it has been hard on everyone. If someone needs to hear this today, it is ok to have a bad day/days. It's ok to reach out and be vulnerable about how you are feeling.
With that being said, now let's talk about getting back up. It's one thing to take a second, but I don't want to spend another week in a slump. One thing I have learned during this time is to not be afraid to ask for what I need from those around me. Also, it's letting go of what you simply cannot control. I think to myself surely, God would not have called me out of Nashville, away from my family and friends, just to leave me jobless or with sick family members that I can't help. But then I tell myself if so, He is still good. And there is room to grow and learn in EVERY. single. situation. I have been heavily relying on scripture during this time. My Mimi calls me and leaves me a voice mail with a bible verse every day that I work to listen to when I get a free second. Words are powerful and scripture fuels my soul. I would like to share my favorite verses that she's been praying over me every morning -
" The Lord bless you and keep you,
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." - Numbers 6:24-26
One thing is certain, we have a Savior bigger and stronger than COVID-19 and He has the final say and is deserving of all the glory.
Other things that have lifted my spirit this week -
I decided I was going to learn Spanish. It's something that I've always wanted to do but something I've "never had time for". What is something you have never had time for? Go do it. If it's Spanish, I'm down for an accountability partner.
Also, I have probably been the last person to get behind all of the virtual hangouts. So, this past Tuesday, I was invited to dance with some of my favorite people, my POM sisters from 2012. An hour before our virtual meeting, I tried concocting every excuse to not show up and socialize, and then I realized it was because I didn't want people to see me in a vulnerable state. Would I come off negative? Would I come off ungrateful? Not surprisingly, I had the absolute best two hours of my week. We laughed, we danced, and I felt so loved and understood by these women without even saying a word. What are you neglecting or holding out on because of your own insecurities? Get out there and be vulnerable. Truthfully, the world needs realness right now.
Reading fiction books have also helped. Escaping from what is really going on in the world and just cozying up with a book that you enjoy is so refreshing. I had to put down my usual life application books for just a second and dig into something mysterious and fun.
Lastly, I'm a week into training for a half marathon. Just another thing on the list that I " haven't had time for". Something beautiful is coming, yall. Again, we can have bad days and still remain grateful. Stop apologizing for feeling what you're feeling.
This, too, shall pass.
Here are a few people I stay home for (when I'm not working)!