Who Are You, Now?
Disruptive events, like COVID-19, serve to reveal new and sometimes hidden aspects of our ourselves. When it's not business as usual, what parts of our nature rise to the surface to meet the new reality? I can think of five myself. What (non-judgemental) words would you come up with for yourself?
1. I'm reminded that I'm a rather sensitive soul. I get easily overwhelmed by the daily onslaught of news and health advisories. I don't want to remain ignorant, but I can't bear the weight of things I can't change. So I catch the headlines, but otherwise draw my attention closer to home, to things I can.
2. The creative urge is strong in me, too strong to allow me to remain idle for long. I find comfort, balance and purpose in writing, in music, and now in the creation of a studio space down in our basement where these things can come together--my Man Cave Studio. There's always something calling me.
3. Despite my comic sensibilities, I'm a serious student of life, which is reflected in my reading. I read, not as an escape, but as a means of engagement (I watch comedies and murder mysteries and epic historical dramas for escape): fiction to experience the world, non-fiction to understand the world, and psychology and inspirational texts to guide me through the world.
4. I actually enjoy being solitary. There is something liberating about a day stretching out ahead, with no obligations except those I choose for myself, or those chosen for me by my muse. I love company along the way. But I need, first, the pursuit of tasks that are mine and mine alone. It makes me a happier man.
5. And I shouldn't neglect the word empathetic in this list. It's always been part of who I am. It comes out these days in my commitment to support workers who need to be employed and shops that need my business. From banjos to bird seed, I go out of my way to find someone who could use my patronage, small though it may be.
And you? What personal traits and qualities have risen to meet the challenges of these times? What has surprised you about yourself? What has reassured you? Who are you, now?