December 28, 2020

A Photo Worth a Thousand Words

So many times in the last ten months I've gone back to this picture. 

At first, it was because the moment in which this picture was taken was the last "normal" memory I have from this year. I went back to it time and time again to try to remember what normal was. To try to remember what life was like before. To try to evoke happier memories. I remember being so happy when this photo was taken. That smile is pure joy, pure happiness. There is no stress, no heaviness, no anxiety. This photo represented normalcy. I kept going back to it because I was desperately nostalgic for life before covid.

It's weird how the passage of time changes things. The more time that went by, the more and more I felt like I didn't recognize the person in the photo. It was me yes, but it oddly felt like it wasn't me. That girl was so blissfully unaware about what was to come. That girl in the photo had no idea what she was in for, what her city was in for, what the world was in for. She didn't know what social distancing meant, or that her life was very shortly going to be flipped upside down. 

As of March 13th that girl certainly was no longer me. I would never be that girl again. I would never be the same. We would never be the same. 

It still pains me to look back at that photo. It probably always will. There's no going back, but this photo will always evoke a sense of yearning for the past. For the pre-covid lives we lost. 

We may have lost our old lives, but unlike the hundreds of thousands who lost their actual lives, we still have a second chance. A chance to move forward, onward, and to keep on living. There is not a day that goes by that I do not recognize, that despite everything, I am extremely lucky to have that opportunity.

I might never again be the girl in that photo, but I have to remind myself that there will be those times again. There will be many, many future happy moments that will not be blurred or tarnished by covid. Where covid will be a distant memory. 

Will we ever go back to times before covid? No. Will it ever be the same? No. But it will be better. It will be better because of what we have lived through. Because of what we have experienced, seen, and learned. Because we have survived. We will never be the same, but hopefully we will be better because of this year. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

That I believe. I have to believe that. Clinging to that belief is the only way through.

xo. G

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