So what are YOU doing during quarantine?

It’s kind of weird how it’s being treated like a…I don’t know. Summer vacation?

I shouldn’t complain, I suppose.

I really shouldn’t. Unlike a lot of the world, I still have a job.

I am an editor. I edit books, and because I do so via the internet, I’m still working. Luckily, people are using this time to write, so I am still getting clients.

I am also a creative writing tutor, and my students are still having me teach them (virtually), which is great for both of us. One of my students’ parents told me that after we resumed lessons after the first two uncertain weeks, her son was in a much calmer mood. I must admit, getting back to normalcy in that one small regard helped calm my anxieties a bit, too.

I am also, less fortunately, supposed to be dong my student teaching through grad school. They have accepted my first “observation” as a filmed, flipped classroom-type video. Dunno how the rest is going to go.

Besides work and grad school, I, too, am writing. I’ve started a new project for the first time in about a year. It feels great to be writing again. I love writing on paper, especially this fancy old-timey parchment. I bought this leather notebook at a Renaissance Faire last year and I love writing on it. It has two dragons embossed on the cover. It’s awesome. It feels awesome to write in, and I love my new story. It’s going so well.

I’m also getting into yoga and meditation. I like that I get to sit out on my porch in the just-warm-enough April sun. I like that I get to take my dogs on walks, even if it is in the cemetery (because the woods are full of people, now) and even if I do have to wear a mask. I like playing Animal Crossing with my boyfriend and I like doing virtual calls with friends who live far away. I am reading a ton. I have plans to make floral tea mixes and candles. I am submitting my writing to magazines and submitting my finished novel to publishers and agents. I am working on my posture. I am working on my baking. I am sewing dolls.

I am trying to fill my time with all these things and yet the day is so long.

I am realizing how much of my time I used to fill with things I didn’t enjoy.

I am realizing that, despite how much I ask for it, I don’t need a lot of alone time.

I am realizing that I miss my friends, my family. I miss my boyfriend’s family. I miss restaurants and coffee shops, and libraries, and my students. I miss going to the movies. I miss food shopping. I miss life.

On top of it, I’ve also realized that I’m not as healthy, mentally, as I would like.

I’ve taken freedom and busyness for granted.

When all this is over, I am going to go back to therapy. I am going to spend more time outside with friends, and I am going to hug them and compliment them more. I am going to live, and appreciate life.

I am going to smile more.

Smile at strangers, more.

what a time to be an introvert.

i never thought i’d be tired of being at home.

my god. is this what being an extrovert feels like?

i’m dying for touch. i just want to see someone smile

i just want to laugh

i want to go to a bar

a party

i want to go clubbing

and if you know me

you know

how crazy that sounds.

i want to run

i want to run to a place where we can be outside without a mask

i want to go back in time just 30 days

to when this all seemed impossible.

to when i doubted schools would close

to when i was still able to go out to eat

to when i still *wanted* to be alone.

Summer Approaches

I was here, and I am here again. Look, we are both heading into a blank summer. We will both likely be here next year, me after months of interviews and disappointments, you after sunburns and supermarket jobs and hours and hours in front of your television. My sister watched Grey’s Anatomy twice last summer, all thirteen or fourteen seasons of it.

I was unemployed in high school, thirsting for money and something to do in this boring suburb, and here I am again, four years after my graduation, complaining and lazing like Daisy Buchanan on a breezy sofa.

I’ll get lots of writing done, I say, not writing. I’ll read lots, I say, not reading.

I brush my hair at night until the brush goes through it easy as water.

I sit with my plants and candles, draped in a scarf I never wear outside. I copy symbols and recipes as if I’d ever do anything with them. I play with tarot cards and waste my time. I slice Havarti cheese and eat pickles with toothpicks, souring my breath even worse with white wine, pretending I have the budget to be blasé and aristocratic, pretending the books I do manage to read aren’t affecting me like so many pills.

I take a portion of The Bell Jar and wonder if it wouldn’t be so bad, sitting in a mental hospital and feigning growing health. I take a portion of Little Women and wonder if it would be so horrible to be a housewife, to find pleasure in a washing machine. I take a portion of Anna Karenina and the words wash over me like hot soup and I can’t focus and put it down.

It takes my eyes a long time to focus on things far away.