Navigating Through Uncertainty

Navigating Through Uncertainty.

Erin Taylor

“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.” David Levithan

I keep hearing on TV and from the people I talk to that we are “living in really uncertain times right now.” Many are scared, experiencing stress at an all-time high; and all of this is due to the outbreak of COVID-19. I’ve certainly experienced my own moments of panic and have done what I can to stay healthy and happy through the stressful moments. But it’s definitely got me asking, how do I navigate through this? Is it as bad as I think it is, or do I just think that because it’s what I see on TV? Perhaps my opinion won’t align with many, but I feel like anytime, COVID-19 or no COVID-19, we are always living and navigating through uncertainty; that’s just what life is. The only control we really have in life is how we chose to respond to the events taking place around us.

 

There are a few factors that I personally believe make this time feel so unprecedented. First and foremost, it’s fear. Anything we don’t understand, we typically fear. It’s a natural inclination and yes, a little fear is good, however, a lot of fear can be just as dangerous as the thing or event we are actually afraid of. Fear is powerful and that in and of itself, is scary. Honestly, any factor I can come up with is simply rooted in fear. For example, the virus is a reminder that everything in life is temporary. That our lives are temporary, and that all it takes is potentially a few airborne molecules to possibly end the lives around you or even yours. What do you think? 

“Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be LIVED. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly, imperfectly, magically LIVED.”
Mandy Hale

 

Navigating through uncertainty means that in times of fear for myself during this pandemic, I’ve really tried to find a way to center myself. I know this is affecting people in a really huge way. It’s taking lives and so much energy from our healthcare professionals, and I can’t imagine what a day in their shoes must feel like. So, this is what I do, and maybe this won’t work for others, but so far, it’s worked well for me. Personally, I love to know the nitty gritty details of everything, so I’ve tried my best to find a balance in that. I don’t watch the news every single day and in fact, I go most days of the week without watching and then tune in when I feel up to it. It’s great to have knowledge at our fingertips, and, in my experience, the news has like 99.9% negative things to say and that endless loop is just not a healthy way for me to function on a daily basis.

 

In addition, I simply do things that make me feel good. I’ve chosen to stay home as much as possible, only going out when I need to grab essentials, and occasional drives just for a change of scenery. So, finding things to do indoors has been fun and at times, challenging. But here are a few of the highlights for me: I had a spa day with my boyfriend at one point (honestly can’t keep track of the days anymore). We took showers, did mud face masks and finished off with Bioré nose strips. Taking the time to take care of yourself and do what’s relaxing to you is essential and fun! I live with my dad and my boyfriend so together, we’ve tried different recipes to mix things up and make meals and preparation more exciting. And another favorite, finding new TV shows or movies to watch at home. We’ve honestly gone through quite a few lately, and I highly recommend Chernobyl and The Outsider if you’re into the darker genres and have a subscription to HBO. How do you choose to spend your time? Do you have any show recommendations? I have a lot of free time these days, and you probably do too.

 

I would say the biggest thing that’s allowed me to stay sane and feel less restricted is to consistently remind myself that this is only temporary and to be grateful for the things, and most importantly, the people that I have in my life. I’m living with my boyfriend and my dad and yeah, the two of them piss me off on a daily basis at this point. But I also get to be with two people that I love, while so many others are operating on their own right now. I have my mom, who although lives 1,000 miles away, I still get to work with and see over Zoom on almost a daily basis. She is healthy and so is my sister who, although I haven’t seen her in a while, lives close by and is also staying happy and healthy. I have wonderful friends who I have had Zoom dates with. I still get to work every single day and receive a paycheck twice a month. Staying indoors most of the time hasn’t been ideal, but it’s given me the opportunity to take some time for myself and be intentional about who I reach out to and how often. It’s allowed me to be present with the ones I love in an entirely new way. So yeah, life is uncertain. Right now, and always. But right now, I have people who I love in my life who also love me. I have the air in my lungs, and I am grateful. What comes next? Will my current reality change? Yes. And I’ll worry about that tomorrow.

“Only I wasn’t steering anything, not even myself.” 
Sylvia Plath

At this point, I want to create space for anyone reading this to share their thoughts, beliefs, fears and questions. I think that everyone deserves to feel heard and sometimes being given the opportunity to splash some words on a page can be really healing and often offers some perspective. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to ramble out my thoughts in these posts, and I’d love to hear yours! To anyone reading this, I wish you and your loved ones well. I hope you all take any chance you get to spend time together, whether physically or through some form of technology. Many of us are feeling extra vulnerable lately and sometimes, all it takes is knowing that someone around you cares. Be well. Be kind.

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