My parents always taught me that any struggle we are having in our life is a test. Growing up Catholic, I heard a lot of verbiage like that. “God is testing you.” Well, I sure have been tested a lot.
Sure, I have had some amazing moments in my life but, sometimes the bad seem to outweigh the good. In times like this, we as human beings can’t help but feel bad for ourselves. We aren’t trying to be selfish, but we are filled with such anxiety that it is all that we can concentrate on, in the moment.
For instance, I got the opportunity to be Assistant Dance Captain at Rock Of Ages and less than a month later, COVID-19 strikes the World and live theatre is canceled. If I were to sit and wallow in my sorrows, I wouldn’t get through this tough time with everyone else. So, instead, I decided to make a list of what I am thankful for. That list, and looking at it every day, has saved me from crawling into a cave of depression and constant anxiety.
In my opinion, the best thing about this situation is technology. We have unlimited access to television, movies, books, social media and our family and friends. Imagine if all of the power went out and all we had was ourselves. Like my parents also say, it can always be worse.
I went through the first couple of weeks watching movies and television shows from my childhood. It brought me a lot of joy and solace. In a way, they took me back to a simpler time in my life and it calmed me down. Starting new shows has also been exciting. An escape from reality for a couple of hours a day. Depending on the show, I would literally forget about what was going on outside of my window. My anxiety appreciates escapes like that. My anxiety is high when I am having a good day so you can only imagine the distractions I need at a time like this.
Something else that helps me at a time like this are sports re-runs. YouTube has been a great spot to find old games, as is the Filling the Void series here at The Turf. Like one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time when the New England Patriots pulled off a 4th Quarter win against the Atlanta Falcons in 2017. I will never forget that game. I was at a sports bar in Brooklyn with a bunch of Patriots fans and it truly was an energy I have never felt before. I have always believed in the Patriots. They have been my team since I was a kid but, even I was scared when we hit halfway through the 3rd Quarter and were down by 25. Remembering and rediscovering moments like that are helping me navigate this difficult time.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. More than ever I have learned this. Everyone is going to navigate through this hard time in a different way. Cooking, exercising, reading or even picking up a new hobby. I pray that we get through this with more empathy and compassion for one another and a new understanding of the meaning of life.
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