“Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is overcoming fear. It’s willingness to risk failure, believing in your own resiliency to survive if you come up short.” – Valerie Jarrett Finding My Voice
It has been about 60 days since we’ve entered Quarantine, or as we affectionately say in Philly it’s been about 60 days since “all the sh*t” started and each day has it’s highs and lows. Some days I wake up and I just go and while it doesn’t feel normal the day just has a flow to it. Other days I cannot begin the process of prying myself out of bed or even getting vertical enough to drink the coffee my Dad so lovingly puts on my bedside table.
Quarantine has given me and many others an astronomical amount of time to just sit with myself in a way I am very use to, but always feels very foreign. It has provided the opportunity to pause and assess where I am; where I want to go; and where I need to continue to pivot, grow, and change. In this way it has been a beautiful time. But it has also brought loss, grief, uncertainty and tension — hard emotions to sit with for any extended amount of time.
But what I am amazed by is the micro and the macro demonstrations of resiliency in myself, in others I know, in communities, and around the globe. It’s why I find myself crying during most episodes of John Krasinski’s Some Good News shows, felt my heart swell with joy looking at the pictures from Elaine Weltheroth’s Brooklyn stoop wedding and block party, and laugh for hours during each episode of A Touch More with Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe. (Side Note: if you haven’t seen and of those three, please do.)
The capacity we have for resiliency is unbelievable and can be shown in both the little and big ways. When I was little (and by little I mean from birth up to and including now) I was the clumsiest child. I mean truly— I fell down stairs; tripped over my own feet; fell off the monkey bars; and always had random scrapes/scratches/bruises — I was C L U M S Y. My family likes to laugh because it was a typical thing in our house to hear some crash of sorts and then half a second later I would call out, “I’m okay!” and it still happens to this day. Fall, get up, “I’m okay!” and repeat about 3-4x per week.
I think back on that a lot now, when I’m feeling anxious, worried, and afraid because I believed so much in my own resiliency as a child —why would I think that I’m any less resilient now? As I’m adjusting to this time and finding what works for me here and now I have found myself coming back to all those stories where those words were my reflex: “I’m okay!” and trusting that I know that to be true.
Because while there might not be the distant crash as my parents look at each other and wonder is this the time they have to take their 7 year old to the hospital — those words still matter. On the days where getting up is hard– “I’m okay!”. On the days when getting up is easy – “I’m okay!”. On the days where I feel like nothing is within my control — “I’m okay!”. Over and over and over as many times as I need to tell myself. If I believed in my own resilience before I even knew what resilience was and I’ve only gotten stronger — I’ll be okay as I get through this too.
Maybe moving in to another week of quarantine has got you down. Or maybe your state is easing restrictions and that’s got you feeling anxious — whatever the case maybe, know that I believe in your resiliency. I believe in you. And, if you need a little boost, a little light, or a little love I’m right here with you.