Turns out 2020 is not exactly what we have been hoping for.
Actually, it has been the complete opposite: seeing half of Europe quarantined, in lockdown, and hearing presidents, prime ministers talking about closing borders, closing schools up till September(to name a few), well, nobody thought about it.
Since the beginning of this whole lockdown thing, I have seen, heard, read about numerous ideas about how to cope with this difficult time. Extremely motivated people, some of them being my friends, seemed to have a lot of projects: “It’s great,” one friend told me, “you are going to be able to focus on your MA!” “I have decided to work out every day,” another told me. “I am going to learn Korean!” “I am going to learn how to cook!” “I am going to write a novel!” “I am going to read Lord of the Rings!” Let me tell you, the list was endless. And it made me feel like shit.
What have I done since the beginning of this nightmare? I called my parents, who are in Brittany, so roughly one thousand kilometers away from me every day for at least one hour. I binge watched Hannah Montana the second Disney + was available in France and The Chilling adventures of Sabrina before that. The only book I managed to finish was edited by Disney Press and is a part of the Twisted Tales collection (A whole new world – what if Jafar got the lamp before Aladdin?). I have worked maybe two hours on my MA because the current module is annoying me so much that I can’t focus on it. I have worked A LOT on my Italian because I can’t wait to go back there. I worked out a week or so, and gave up. I adopted a puppy. I haven’t written a novel, a short story, or even an article before this one.
The truth is, we don’t know what will happen. It’s hard to focus on the future when you don’t know what it will hold. Sure, it was okay for a few days to hang at home. It was (and it is still) an interesting experience to teach online college students and senior students. I am nowhere near to leave my current job to teach online full time though. As I said, it’s an experience, but I’ll be damn glad when it will be done.
Come on, I am not going to complain: my job will still be here at the end of this dreadful moment (actually, I’ll have a better job at the local college), I have a nice apartment, I have my husband, my cats and a lovely puppy who is glued to me 24/7. But I am also a teacher who is fighting against inequalities, who thinks that everybody should have the same chances, and who knows that the gap between the students is getting wider by the minute.
So now, I am not okay. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back home (my real home – Aosta Valley, Italy). I don’t know if my students are going to find a deeper motivation within themselves. I hate the uncertainty. I hate to ignore where I am going, it has been giving me anxiety for the past thirty years; imagine how terrifying the world is to me now.
But I am not going to write a book, start a blog about cooking, learn an exotic foreign language. If I am considered lazy, or depressed, or whatever, well, be it. I am not going to pretend that it’s all going to be fine because it’s important to stay positive. I made peace with the fact that I’m not okay, that I am nowhere near to be okay, and with the fact that pretending is not gonna work for me. Self-acceptance, you say?