I had just gotten back from my Greece trip when the stay-at-home order for Florida was put into place, yet, an overwhelming feeling still came over me when I heard the news. I am the kind of person who enjoys going out to do things and often finds it hard to stay home. Of course, like almost anyone else, even though I enjoy being out and about, I can sometimes be content staying home binge-watching my favorite show on Netflix, just not when I am forced to do so. I am an extrovert and almost find that I refuel my energy when I am surrounded by people. This feeling of anxiety began, knowing I would not be able to do so.
COVID-19 reached Florida during a time when I needed to bond with my friends and to just clear my mind a bit. With everything I was going through, at first, I was upset this pandemic came when it did. The quarantine took the time I needed to refuel with friends and family away from me. It wasn’t until both my mother and godmother shared some advice with me that I started changing my mindset of having to stay home. “Use this time to be selfish,” they both said. Selfish, that word always held a negative connotation with me. “There is nothing selfish about me,” I thought to myself. At least I didn’t initially think so.
Use this time to be selfish. These words kept echoing in my head. For as long as I could remember, I have always been a Selfless person. Almost everything I do has been at the benefit of others. The words my mother and godmother shared with me could not have been any more accurate, especially during this quarantine. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, being Selfish during this time was exactly what I needed to do. “But how?” I thought to myself.
I am fully aware this virus has taken a heavy toll on many. There are currently some people that are now unemployed (myself included). On the other hand though, there are some people who are essential, and have been working harder than ever before. I also realize there are those who are unable to see family members whether they are sick or healthy, due to social distancing. I know this virus has been a tough time for everyone. I am starting to see the positive through this and learning to find peace amid all this chaos.
I have come to understand what my mother and godmother meant when they shared with me to use this time to be selfish. For once in my life, I am stuck at home with no school responsibilities, no work responsibilities, no pet responsibilities, no kid responsibilities, and even no responsibilities of having to cater to someone. The only thing I need to worry about during this quarantine is myself, and I could not be more grateful for that.
I have been using my days while quarantined, to give myself some needed “me” time. Thanks to my new favorite podcaster, Case Kenny, I have decided to change my mindset in thinking about what I can do today to create a better tomorrow for myself. The answer to that became clear, I had to start being selfish and start doing things for myself.
With nothing to do, I quickly realized how much time in a day there is. I have begun finding productive ways to help pass the time. I have picked up habits I was losing sight of like: journaling, writing, photography, editing, stress relief coloring, and canvas painting. All of these things have been put into my day to help my creative juices flow again. I have even picked up new habits during this quarantine as well, to get my mind thinking again like meditating, yoga, reading, biking, and even listening to some podcasts.
Trust me, I still have days where being quarantined gets to me, but even then, I feel refreshed knowing I am doing things for myself. I am truly thankful the Coronavirus stay home order came at the time it did because it has helped me in understanding how to be a little selfish for once.
Even once this stay home order gets lifted, I am still going to have the same mindset of being selfish. NOW is truly the time in my life to do so. I am never going to get this time back, and I may regret it in the future if I don’t take advantage now. This is the time for me to find peace within myself, to love myself more, to explore, to make memories, to build meaningful friendships, and to discover the woman I truly am meant to be.
The only thing that matters to me, is to just be present and focus on the now. To dedicate this time to focus on becoming the best version of myself. To use this time to live, laugh, and love freely. I am excited about this time of selfishness. I am excited to find peace PAST the chaos.