Friendships and Pandemics

This year, I like so many others, had hopes and plans for this year to be the best yet. We all had trips planned, events to go to, friends to visit and gatherings to attend. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until all of a sudden the idea of such things are definitely out of the ordinary. You’ll probably get a few rude comments about it too. I have a friend who had multiple vacations planned for this summer that were all cancelled except for a local camping trip. I’ve had a couple girls reach out to me about cancelled wedding plans with really no idea which direction to go. That I can closely relate to because I have had to do the same. From meeting the teacher virtually to drive through pick up for everything you can imagine, nothing is really quite the same.

This year (so far) has taught me three things:

1. Change is inevitable, swift, and constant.

2. I have to let go of my ideals and tendencies of control.

3. My friendships and support system sustain me.

Change happens without our consent or approval. Most often than not change also happens swiftly. There isn’t a gradual change and you can see it coming and plan for it. Life wouldn’t give it to you that easy. It happens more all of sudden. This we do know is that change is going to come. The best way I’ve found to deal with that is to be able to adapt. Adapt in its literal meaning is to make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify OR become adjusted to new conditions. Being in quarantine is not easy, wearing a mask is not easy, speaking to the cashier through a plastic wall of sorts is not easy, months without hugging your loved ones is not easy. This “new normal” has caused us all to do a lot of adapting. One thing I can say is that mindset is everything. No matter what is going on around you, you always have the choice to decide how it affects you. You can let this turn you into misery or you can let this turn you into magic. Either way, so you think it so it shall be.

I am a bit of a control freak at times. I like for certain parts of my life to be planned, to happen the way I need it to happen. I had things all mapped out in my planner for this year and I cannot tell you how many times I had to cross things out. If I’m being honest I was a bit pissed about it. All the things I was looking forward to were suddenly over. The controlling part of me was having a meltdown. I was forced to let go. I was forced to just stop myself and realize I’m not in control anyways. I don’t dictate the way things happen. What I control is how I accept the things that I cannot change. And that’s the key to all of it. It is not easy to do, it takes time. I’m not perfect at it and I still struggle with this. When I get into that mood I just have to increase the positive self-talk and bring myself out of it. It’s hard to live life one day at a time when you feel the need to control everything.

What makes all this easier? FRIENDS. I can’t even imagine going through this year and the disappoint this pandemic has brought with a strong circle of people around me. New friends I have met here in North Carolina and the friends back home in Mississippi that I miss so much have been so helpful during this time. We are all dealing with motherhood, childcare changes, working, working from home, you name it. We have all had our own personal struggles but we have also been able to help each other navigate through it. Sometimes you don’t need advice, you just need someone to listen and I’m so thankful for all of it. Not being able to fly home has been hard, not being able to have a wedding has been hard. We’ve been so blessed to have friends and family that have had no problems with all the cancellations we’ve had to make, wonderful wedding vendors who have been able to make changes for us, and a bridal party that has been the MOST accommodating to me. I am so lucky to have these ladies in my life. My fiancé lost his grandfather to covid-19 and this year has been upsetting for him and his family. Having a support system to help us through this time has been vital. We know that lots of you have been affected by covid as well and our hearts are with you and your families. This hasn’t been easy but it will get better.

My hope is that this year brings about positive change for people, open hearts and open minds. My hope is that we learn to love each other a little better and understand that we are really all the same. These are trying times my friends, be well!

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