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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Change image by Sean MacEntee and marked with a CC BY 2.0 license from Creative Commons.
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