In this day and age, most of us thrive off a busy life, bustling from school to work and sports to activities and always having something on our plate. While we’re normally living in the present and focusing on our day-to-day tasks, the current pandemic and state of isolation has forced us to push pause and halted our fast-paced lives.
Being stuck in quarantine, there are plenty of new experiences and emotions we’re currently figuring out. While these times may not serve as the most ideal living situation, we’ve got to make the most out of what we’re given. As a community, we’re coming together to honor the essential workers who are protecting us on the frontlines every day, and we’re recognizing high school and college graduates in the best (and safest) ways possible. As individuals, we’re doing our parts to improve the world by practicing social distancing and self-quarantining.
The irony of all this, however, is that isolation is uniting us all closer than ever before.
With this tedious adjustment to an unfamiliar way of living comes more leisure time in our schedules. Despite the fact that the vast majority of us are occupying ourselves studying or working from home, we’re still relentlessly searching for entertainment to fill up all this extra time when we would typically be commuting or out and about our daily routines. Whether it’s boredom or cabin fever nostalgia, lots of us have lately been in touch with people of our past or simply conversing with close friends and family more often.
Gianna Milan, Distraction’s Digital Editor, says she can relate to this. “I’ve definitely been reaching out to non-immediate or distant family more. Usually during the year, we are all way too busy to keep up with one another regularly,” she remarked.
Milan isn’t the only one contacting her peers. She was surprised when she received a text from the leader of her old church’s youth group, who she hadn’t seen since her early high school years. They caught up on their past, present and future plans.
“I shared with her some significant experiences from my first year of college, and she told me about her new ministry job, graduate school endeavors and life with her husband,” shared Milan.
We tend to detail our past encounters when reconnecting with those who we haven’t interacted with in a while, as it fulfills us to take a look at others’ fast-paced lives and new accomplishments. Now especially, the socially-distanced population is heavily reminiscing on its past: we’re reflecting on the to-dos we could have checked off just a few months ago which are no longer possible right now. Undoubtedly, the silver lining of this pandemic is that boredom may actually be the greatest thing to have happened to us socially; despite harsh separation, we now have the utmost time to check up on people from ages ago who are loved and missed.
If you haven’t already, there’s no reason why you can’t start reconnecting now. Globally, people’s mental health has plummeted to an all time low lately as we’re all struggling to live without a set schedule. The lack of human interaction in this pandemic has translated to an existential crisis for many. We are all discovering the meaning of life and reshaping and defining how we feel about it.
Back in the days when there were no means of e-communication, face-to-face conversation was immensely valued. Over the past century—with technology no longer a luxury, but now a personal necessity—we have taken advantage of the now-casual nature of meaningful talks. Resorting to simple chit-chat and straying from heart-to-heart conversations has gradually evolved into the new norm.
Now we’re able to have more of these discussions with people around us, regardless of physical separation. We have all this time to delve into our own thoughts while understanding others, rather than partake in brief filler chat that feels more like a mere obligation. Now’s the perfect opportunity to thoroughly check in with old high school friends and video-call faraway family members while you can.
Remember that petty argument you had with someone last year and you guys haven’t talked since? Find a way to make amends. Lost touch with a long-time-no-see companion? Get back in contact; the time is now in your hands. Odds are they’re probably thinking about you during this time, too. It’s the little things that count, and today, they truly mean more than anything.
words & illustration_abby pak