Everyone has a COVID19 story. Do I tell mine? What do I leave out; what do I share? What do I want to remember? Who even cares? Is there anything I can say that will inspire others?
On March 20, I emergency evacuated out of Chennai, India, where I taught Art for two years. I bought the last available ticket on an Emirates flight, bound for the USA, which would leave in 6 hours. That flight was their last flight into/out of India at that time. As I left and locked my apartment, I realized I might not be back, I might not ever see my friends again, and I might not get my possessions back. I cried all the way to the airport.
Some big things have happened to me during this pandemic. I’ve been in quarantine two different times, for 14 days each. I’ve lost my teaching job in India. My brother and I had to move our mother into a memory care facility and empty her home. I lived with married friends for two months. I taught my Indian Art classes, and zoomed into faculty meetings, on India Standard Time until the end of the school year. To do this meant I stayed up all night long for 11 long weeks. I’ve moved to a new-to-me city in the USA. I’ve lived with my adult daughter and her family for two months. I’ve loved learning how to be a Grandma. I’ve made a decision to not go back into the classroom full time, for now.
Some little things have happened to me also. I’ve noticed the plants in my neighborhood and I’ve tried to learn their names. I’ve become interested in USA history after watching Hamilton, on Broadway, three times on the Disney channel. I’ve gained weight, although I do 100 lunges each morning when I take my grandson on a walk in his stroller. I’ve learned to appreciate and enjoy ordinary things like leaving the house to go to the grocery store. I’ve delighted in re-learning childhood songs to sing out loud. I’ve joined some virtual Meetups. I’ve been a student in a live art class which was broadcast from London. And I’ve decided to write more.
I’m exploring possibilities that I’ve never had time to explore before. What is available in this new world? How might I participate in ways that are unique, include family and friends, and allow for art-making while earning income? How can I change and adapt to the new?
What new ideas are you exploring?
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I’ve always loved reading your updates. You are inspiring!!! I have been playing around with the idea of getting a pottery wheel these days… Can you recall the type we had at TCA or is there another electric wheel that you might recommend?
Wellwishes from San Fran! ❤
I’m emailing you…I “see” your email address when I was notified that I had a comment from you. OMG! I am so glad to hear from you. xoxoxoxo. Thank you for commenting and keeping up with me. Pottery wheel – yes! Get a Brent: Model B would be sufficient for you I believe. Do not even consider any other brand.
Good to hear from you. I’m sure your mom is in good hands, and you can visit her soon. I followed your posts from your friend’s house; you went through challenging times and I’m happy that you’ve decided to take it easy for a while. I’m sure Carter keeps you busy and entertained. I just lost my dad this past Thursday; I wish my mom would move in with me, too. Although we’re in the same city, I’d feel more comfortable if she did not live alone.
Lots of love to you. When things get back to somewhat normal, please visit Istanbul, your other home 🙂
Ah, Natali, thank you for reading and thank you for your kind note. I’m so sorry to learn about your dad’s passing. My heart grieves for you. I lost my dad in 2013 and it still doesn’t really seem possible. It is very thoughtful and loving to wish that your mom would move in with you. Perhaps she will in time. Give the girls a hug. I had plane tickets bought to visit Istanbul this summer, prior COVID19. Sadly, I’ll have to delay this trip once again. I will never stop missing Istanbul. It truly is my other home. 🙂
You’re amazing ! I love your spirit, outlook on life, and you’re one on my most interesting friends. ❤️
Dear Julie, I feel the same about you. I will be sending you an email shortly. Thank you so much for being in touch. I don’t want to loose track of you!
❤️ I got your email last week, and apologize for not answering it yet—but u’ve Intended to several times! 😜 Enjoy every minute with that new little man in your life! I can just see you doing lunges as you stroll along with him! 😊
Hi, Carol. Great to hear from you. No hurries on returning the email. I’m praying and wishing the best for you and your family through this difficult time.
Thank you for sharing, Anita. Yours has been quite an adventure! It’s all so weird, isn’t it? I’m glad you are well and staying curious about all of it. xo
Ah, Heather, it is so good to hear from you! YAY! It is beyond weird. I hope you and your family are all safe and healthy. Please stay in touch.
All the best to you Anita as you navigate your new world. What a shame that your teaching post in India closed due to the current circumstances. I will be interested to keep reading your journey. All the best and may you have good health. Regards, Linda
Sent from my iPhone
Dear Linda, Thank you so much! I just found your comment in my spam folder, quite by accident! I’m glad I didn’t trash it! 🙂 Good health to you and yours as well. I’m working on some new beginnings right now. Stay posted. 🙂
Hi Anita. I can’t wait to see what comes next for you! I loved reading your story about all “little” things you are experiencing. Can’t wait to hear from you and catch up more. Love you Charlotte
Hi, Char. Thanks for the encouragement. Some days are difficult, but all are good with my grandson! Love you too!
Loved the positive observations of this forced change…you’ve noticed more as you walk, even appreciating a simple walk to the store or singing to your grandson. I’d say I too appreciate the slowing down of life. I almost hate to say I appreciate any side of this pandemic because of the death & pain it has caused, but I do appreciate some of the positive aspects of life in the slower lane.
Stay in touch & stay safe,Patty
Thanks, Patty. As you know, there was no way to prepare in advance for the quick change of life, and the continued change of lifestyle. I’m counting my blessings and looking for the good in all of this, but some days are difficult. I’m learning new lessons that I should have learned a long time ago.
Good job, Anita. I’m so proud of you.
I’m so glad to hear from you! Please email me and give me update on you and your family. So glad to hear from you!
Thanks for the update! Was just thinking about you this morning. Charlotte
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you for reading and writing. I will be in touch soon. 🙂