Back to work.
I have been on ‘staycation’ for the past ten days. Today, I commuted into my home office for the first time in those ten days. Despite everything going on in the world, it was a surprisingly normal day of work for me.
To catch up, I had to slog through about 130 emails but that honestly did not take me a great deal of time. Most of them were – more or less – junk mail. After deleting all of the unnecessary messages I had about 25 that actually needed my attention.
I participated in three video meetings and had a couple of text conversations to go over details of some work-related projects. Overall, it felt like a normal day of work for me. During the day, the college president sent out the email detailing plans for the fall semester. At least now we have a clue about whether there are in-person classes or not.
I bring this up because it was a strangely normal day. Clearly, there are plenty of awful things going on in the world – and even closer to home here in the Chicago region – today. Despite that, I find myself in an odd space where I seem to be able to focus on my normal day-to-day life. I actually felt rather productive, too.
At the end of the day, as I sit here and work on this blog post, I find myself conflicted. I have seen friends on social media post things that mirror how I am feeling – that my silence does not indicate that I am complicit or that I am somehow perpetuating everything that is wrong in this country. Then I saw them flamed mercilessly for being honest – being told that they have some kind of obligation to post things that promote the positive message or that means they are horrible human beings who are part of the problem.
Apparently being in emotional pain and honestly saying that you are conflicted and don’t know what to say means that you are part of the problem. Really? Well, then I guess I am part of the problem. I am in emotional pain. I am conflicted. I feel helpless and at times hopeless. I am horrified at what’s happening.
And at the same time, I am going to be totally honest and say that I have nothing more to add to the conversation. Millions of people are flooding social media with their posts, and many of my friends are doing it. I have nothing new to say, nothing more to add.
If me processing – silently – through my pain and fear means that I am a horrible human being who has no compassion for others then I guess it’s time to unfriend/unfollow/delete/block me because I am not suddenly going to change in order to make other people happy.
I am who I am and if someone is truly my friend, they will accept me at face value and understand who I truly am. I don’t have to post endless things on social media for people to know me. In fact, what you see on social media is largely a façade and isn’t the true me anyway. I edit what I choose to post, so what you see most of the time is what I want you to see.
Here – now in the post – I am being totally honest and revealing a bit more of who is underneath the surface that you see on social media. If that’s not enough for you, then I guess you should say ‘goodbye’ to me and focus on something else.
And just so you know, just because I’m not out marching does not mean that I am not doing what I can to make the world a better place. There are as many ways to address issues are there are people in the world. My way is unique to me, and I know – even if others don’t agree – that I am doing a great deal to make the world a better place. I just choose to do it quietly, intentionally, and in my own way. I don’t need external validation, nor do I need to shout out in public (aka, social media) what I am doing or feeling in order to get approval from others.
As long as I know my intentions, that’s all that truly matters.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.