how: be joy in a pandemic

it’s quarantine day 8379493 and morale has been low over here in apartment 21. it’s been hard to find the motivation to do any amount of work when the world is falling apart at the seams and being alive feels heavy. some mornings i wake up, remember all over again the state of things and then lay in bed staring at the wall for a half hour on accident. i would be lying if i told you any different.

but the world keeps spinning as it has for billions of years and it’s dragging many of us along behind it, ladden with our deadlines and work and worry. so after a half hour of staring at the wall wondering where it all went wrong, i am forced to kick myself into gear (any gear) and put my feet on the ground to start another day all on my own. here’s how i do it without giving up completely every other hour:

  1. tik tok. it’s what the kids are doing these days. but i love it. i love political tik toks, nonsensical tik toks, diy tik toks, hot boy tik toks (are they 12, idk, do i care, probably not), dog tik toks, cat tik toks, ferret tik toks, baby tik toks, lesbian tik toks, dance tik toks, ok i like all tik toks. send me more.
  2. makeup! i forgot about the deep rabbit hole that is youtube beauty gurus but i’ve re-submersed myself and it’s been a beautiful distraction. i started doing my makeup everyday, doing the absolute most for no one but myself and my coworkers who get to see my pixelated face everyday on zoom. and it’s been wonderful. i forgot the joy i get from highlighters and eyeshadows and all the glitzy little things i tried to erase from my mind in a rush to be less feminine in a world that begs me to be both beautiful and chill. sometimes i just put on a full lewk at night right before i go to bed for the hell of it. when did i forget how fun it is to do the most for absolutely no one but me? when did i convince myself that liking makeup made me less feminist and whole? when did i become so grossly utilitarian in my existence? deep questions from someone who just binged 7 videos on duochrome eyeshadows. but still probably important. put on the purple eyeshadow for fun, i dare you.
  3. loud music. my neighbors probably hate me but i feel like that deal was sealed long ago when they heard me debating the merits of late stage capitalism after binging love island for 7 hours. idk. i’ve been loving dua lipa’s new album and basically anything that is poppy and mindless enough to soothe my tired little brain. here’s a playlist of some pop-esque, springtimey, get yourself out of bed and dance a lil favorites. play them loud.

do what you want! none of this is prescriptive. please don’t listen to prescriptive advice on how to survive a pandemic. none of us have done this before. they don’t know more about it than you do. trust your body and brain and soul and spirit. do what they say. move a lot if you want to and become a slug if it feels good. i have done both and i can confidently say one does not make you a better person than the other. perfection is so like 2019. the second i stopped holding myself to the rigid standards prescribed to me by every wellness blog, i got a whole lot more joyful. if you want to meditate, do it. if you want to swallow yourself in reality tv, do it. both are valid and good. our intuition is a powerful, don’t do yourself a disservice by ignoring it. surviving is hard work. and it’s enough.

be well. ily.

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