Before

Fern
Sunday 5 June 2022 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 R WR

Last night I mentioned to Bhavna that I was having some challenges getting back into my pre-pandemic habits. Hiking, Friday lunches with friends, and early morning photography walks were some of my activities before the pandemic. I was always quick to rise. I told her that I think I am still mourning the loss of "before". When I was a child, our family moved around the Caribbean quite a bit as Dad pursued his career goals with Barclays. It would take me a year or two to make friends and learn the local customs. Moving meant leaving behind the close friends I had made and the food and culture I had adapted to. It was painful, and I think I learned to just "let go" and adjust again to the new reality. I continued that practice as I pursued my studies in the USA, moving from university to university (Madison, New Jersey, Atlanta, Georgia, Ann Arbor. Michigan) and then back to New Jersey. I continued to say goodbye and move on.

I think I did the same during the two years of the pandemic. I had to let go of the "before". I let it ALL go. I adjusted to building a community around just a few places; my sister-in-law's garage and driveway, the outdoor space at the Brick Farm Tavern, and Flounder Brewing. But unlike my previous experiences, I didn’t move. Everyone and everything is still here. The pandemic ended, but all the places and people never left.

I think part of me is afraid. I don’t know how to reintegrate into "before" habits, places, and friends. I’m struggling.

3 comments

  1. My father worked in Indian Railways and every three years we were moving 🙂 We were used to it and it did not really worry us. After marriage I have lived here for almost forty years. The pandemic has changed the lives of so many in different ways. We have to move on. I know it is easier said than done but we have to try. Take care and all the best.

  2. Get outside and learn how to be yourself again. Make new friends. Discover new walking paths. The outdoors will always be there to greet you even when friends from before were not. Be inspired by fresh new perspectives.

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