Well, the time has arrived: I'm officially a blogger
Being currently stuck at home for 98% of my life (as opposed to the 88% that usually dominates my routine), I've been actively working on all the things that usually take a second or third (or ninth?) place role in my life. First place positions are usually reserved for things such as gigs, teaching, and cuddling with my cat. Although to be fair, that last one hasn't changed much/at all.
What an odd time this is. The world is on lockdown and we're all trying to figure out how to retain some sense of normalcy in a time that is far from normal. Along with the time and space that this situation has brought, there comes along the natural inclination to assess one's life. How often do we have this opportunity? I'm certainly hoping for the "Once in a lifetime" answer.
So what have I found?
1. I drive. A lot. I mean, duh. I'm based in Los Angeles and work as a freelance musician. Daily jaunts to all parts of the city and surrounding areas (I went to Santa Barbara alone FIVE times in September) are a part of our musician fabric. And in the off chance we plan something social, it's most certainly based around traffic patterns and questioning your friendships with people who don't live in your general area of the city.
2. I have no idea what my natural schedule is. I've (strangely) started to become a morning person in the last few years (welcome to your thirties, Emily!) and have been routinely waking up before 6:30am during at-home isolation. When I was playing more bar gigs a few years ago, there were quite a few nights where I didn't get home until after 3am. When your schedule is constantly changing, it doesn't allow your natural schedule to exist that easily. I've also noticed that I like to eat 3 meals a day and generally make it a priority to do so. #priorities
3. The things I miss and the things I could care less if they come back, have been made quite clear. I miss my friends and family. I miss playing music with other people. I miss going out to eat and social gatherings. Apparently I don't miss playing "Can't Help Falling in Love" every weekend (my apologies to Elvis, those who love that song, and the contractors who hire me to play said song literally *every weekend*).
4. My body is recovering from the physical act of my playing my instrument and schlepping gear all over God's green Earth and that chronic shoulder injury actually seems to be getting better. Well sh*t.
And all this to say, we have arrived at our current situation: Emily The Blogger.
I love to write. There's something very soothing about downloading one's thoughts from brain to paper (or screen) and forming those thoughts into coherent sentences. As my friends and family will attest to, I have no lack of thoughts or commentary about our lives on this planet, the ways we connect and make community, and life as an artist.
As I sit here this evening, images of the day flash through my mind: Heart-breaking news stories, heartfelt pleas from many in my community expressing outrage, grief, and every emotion in between at today's state of race affairs in this country, and this afternoon, a casual stroll through the farmer's market in Marina del Rey buying garlic dips in the sun. I don't know how to process this current situation. I don't think anyone does. As a world, we have no frame of reference for what we're currently going through, and collectively, we're seeking our way to the other side, some days more effectively than others.
Many things will change or have already changed in this time. The number of lives we've lost is staggering. Some relationships are rekindled or others are, or will be, severed. Many businesses will not make it out of this. So how do we move forward when the future is so unknown?
These are the questions I'm wrestling with these days. I've perfected my Instant Pot salmon recipe (it's foil packs, the answer is foil packs), but the deeper thoughts remain. In a country that is arguably over-medicated and undeniably has a spotty relationship (at best!) with mental health, it is our job as the individual to write the next chapter of this story. Do we want a world in which we hoard canned green beans from the store and those with less see their supplies and savings dwindle even more? How much do we really care about our neighbors? What is essential? Can we trust those in positions of power and most importantly, can we trust ourselves?
Perhaps the best response is to take a step back, let go of the outcome, and be open to a new experience. Awareness, my new age books assure me, is half the battle.
My wish for this evening is that we all find awareness wherever possible and that we connect to the deeper part of us that just is. It's possible to hold grief at both the enormity of our loss and also in the relief of a quieter life.
"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams: who looks inside awakes."
- Carl Jung
Emily The Blogger