I’m (finally) back!

It’s crazy to me that I haven’t put out a blog post since October… and I have to say, it was in no way intentional.

One of the itty, bitty silver linings of this pandemic is that it shines a light on what unites us all: pure humanity. There’s not one person out there whose emotions, thoughts, and/or feelings haven’t been rattled during this tragic, historic period of our lives. The virus doesn’t discriminate between rich, poor, old, young, religion, ethnicity, education, location, political affiliation, you name it. You know what’s ironic though? It feels like our society has created this game of “who has it the worst?”

I find myself in conversation treading lightly when someone asks me how I’ve been, trying not to sound like too much of a whiner or complainer. I avoid talking about what struggles I’m truly facing because, as I usually say with a nervous chuckle, “you know, it could be worse.”

I absolutely have to acknowledge that the past year has been a time to reflect, appreciate and count my blessings. At the same time though, I feel like it’s just as important to give ourselves that permission to grieve what we miss about our lives before COVID-19 hit. Without judgment. Without feeling like we’re not allowed to miss those places, activities, routines, familiar faces, date nights, late nights and everything in between because “it could be worse.”

I was listening to the February 21, 2021 episode of the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast, and comedian Jared Freid was the guest (his humor, tweets, Bachelor/Bachelorette live screams on IG stories, and podcasts have lifted me up on my worst days throughout the pandemic). I replayed and wrote down what he had said, because it summed up my thoughts perfectly:

“This is the problem with 2020 is that we’ve done a lot of problem measuring … which I think is the most unhealthy thing in the world, comparing issues. I felt that way where it’s like [people are] asking, ‘How are you?’ and you’re like, ‘Ummm, I don’t know, I know how many people are doing worse than me’ … but I can’t say ‘great,’ I don’t want to sound like I’m insensitive. I don’t want to sound like one of those yacht people during the pandemic that was doing Instagram stories from a swimming pool going, ‘We’re all in this together!'”

—Jared Freid

So to come full circle with this, I lost sight of the blog because I lost mental energy overall, and I didn’t expect just making it through the day-to-day of my “new normal” life to require a truckload of mental energy (ickkk, I know… we need something else to replace ~new normal~ and ~unprecedented~). I’m still deeply grieving my New York City life (and have no shame in saying I especially miss my bodega and the bacon, egg and cheese I’d get on a fluffy, fresh everything bagel). I’m grieving the loss of my Grandma Jean, who passed away in November. I’m navigating how to optimize my focus and productivity while at my desk, which is in my bedroom (quick note to new followers that I work — remotely, at the moment — for the digital communications team at St. John’s University in NYC). I’m also trying to limit how much time I spend on screens, which has honestly felt impossible… what a perfect time to point out that keeping up a blog unfortunately requires a LOT of screen time!

The other big things I’ve been struggling with include over-comparing on social media (hello jealousy, plummeting self-esteem, FOMO, etc.), an embarrassing lack of motivation to text people back and keep up with friends and relatives, constantly worrying about everything, and the usual personal ishhh that I don’t wish to share here at the moment.

Whether or not you have any of the above in common with me, know that your unique pandemic pains are 100% VALID. Whatever it is you’re going through, let yourself experience the full range of emotions instead of bottling them up with an “it could be worse.” Because at this point, I’m pretty sure we all already know that! Who wants to imagine having more negativity to deal with when we already have enough of that in our world?!

To close my little Fit by the Fork TED Talk, a big piece of positive news: there’s another blog post coming this week about a MAJOR fitness accomplishment I just achieved in February! Stay tuned, my friends… and thanks for reading 🙂

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