I have a confession to make.
For the most part, I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful and privileged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m healthy and safe, and so are my loved ones. I have a roof over my head and healthy food to put on the table. My husband and I can work from home and still feel useful and productive.
I’m acutely aware of the fact that not everyone has been as lucky as we are. While we are all facing the same storm, we are not all in the same boat.
And yet, in the past few days, something started to gnaw at me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but my gratitude gradually gave way to sadness.
Eventually, I found the culprit:
Since mid-March, I started noticing my Facebook memories notifications — the ones that tell you what you were doing on this very day in the past. They quickly turned into silent and somber reminders that life used to be waaaaay better before the pandemic.
The evidence was right there in front of me as I was scrolling through my feed:
Easter holidays spent with the family in Greece, weekends away, travel.
So. Much. Travel.
Work in beautiful locations, sunset dinners, walks in the park with trees in full bloom, a boat ride with dear friends on the Venetian lagoon. Hikes in Tuscany. Warm embraces.
And none of it possible while we are sheltering in place.
Looking at one of the pictures from Venice this weekend, I felt a pang of sadness, nostalgia, and a deep sense of loss.
I started wondering:
Is this our new normal right now?
Is it possible that we are never going back to what our lives used to be?
Suddenly, I felt resigned and hopeless.
“We are living the apocalypse and it’s only human to have a reaction.” — I reassured myself, getting ready to mourn the life I lost.
But then something hit me like a ton of bricks (I know, I’m slow):
My Facebook memories are not even close to what my real life used to be like.