I felt giddy. It turns out, being separated from your phone doesn’t feel like problem, it feels like freedom. The tether in my pocket was gone, and I could be right here, with people, full attention and absorption. The music overwhelmed, surrounded me. The innovation sank into me. Each line was a delight, and because it was improv, it was here—and then it wasn’t. My laughter felt larger, full-bodied, round. My face was open-mouthed with rapture and love and the full sensation of music, not just in my ears, but a part of me. To be honest, being away from my phone felt like being high.
We’re 90 days into shelter-in-place and social distancing, and I’m beginning to feel the affects on my energy, mental stability, and emotional resilience. To be honest, I feel like a 14-year old teenager again. I notice that I feel way more uncomfortable, insecure, and worried about what other people think about me, at least more than I typically do. Remember age fourteen? Yeah, I never thought I’d be back there again, but my brain and my mood feel eerily like I did when I was a teenager. This is not easy.
Whenever I read an article or see a headline that says, “The surprising racist history of…” I think, wait, this shouldn’t be surprising because the United States and much of the colonial and Western worlds were built on the backbone of slavery, oppression, and racism. There is racism in everything. Including ourselves. This should not be a surprise. There is racism everywhere, in everything.
If you’re finding it hard to remember what day it is, what time it is, or how to even get started—you’re not alone. Finding a new sense of normal is critical for me right now. Here are four short conversations to help you get out of that zoned-out, spaced-out, fatigued place of mental exhaustion.
One of the questions we’re all asking about—begging for, really—is what the future might look like. Where are we going, and what does the next year look like? I find myself searching for writers who have thought about this—people who have imagined it, who are dreaming about it, or have studied it. It turns out, there are definitely a few people who have written things like this, from winding forays into five-year futures, to epidemiologists and pandemic researchers thinking through so many of the layered consequences of viral diseases. Here are the people talking about what the future looks like, and a few ways to begin thinking about what’s next.