The Covid-19 Casualties Come Closer to Home

I was in the middle of my philosophy and ethics class in grad school last Saturday when I got the news that my remaining parent figure from my childhood is in the ICU, intubated and at 40% of the normal human oxygen levels. It’s highly likely that it’s covid-19 because of the classic symptoms though they are still waiting for her swab results.

I guess the worst part of the pandemic is the fact that your loved one is in pain and you can’t even physically go there to provide comfort or even just do tiny things like hold her hand or do some errands like buy medications in the drugstore.

It’s really surreal how it feels like the entire ground beneath my feet is disintegrating and the rest of the world are able to go about doing business as usual. It felt like this too in 2016 and 2017 when my parents died. I felt like my whole world collapsed at the time but everyone else was standing, and I needed to have a semblance of normalcy.

I am slightly amused that my husband kept asking me since the weekend why I am just sitting in the corner of the bedroom and barely responsive. If he were dealing with a similar situation, I probably wouldn’t be asking that question. There is anguish and a quiet sense of helplessness. It made me feel so alone, to be quite honest. I live in a house with 4 other people but I feel like I am my own island.

Usually my morning workouts cheer me up but even the barbels and the dumbbells were not able to do its magic today. All I can do right now is stare at the window while I type this up, uncertain of my next steps and not really at my most cheerful best.

The Gravity of Adulting

Externally, I am working or functional. Some people who don’t know me too well may even dare say that I am thriving. I have these fresh assignments from the first week of classes, a couple of client projects, and some fulltime job interviews from a handful of carefully chosen job applications. Inside, it’s just complete chaos. Regardless, I am grateful for the opportunities. I am grateful for the chance to still be the best possible version of my professional self.

Despite that, I feel like the weight of the responsibilities are starting to wear me down today. Everything is currently turned upside down and I still have to make major life decisions that will impact me and my family immensely. It certainly feels like standing in a fork in the road again, and my end goal might change depending on which track I pursue:

fork in the road jungle photo

How do you actually know if you made the right choice among 2 things? There’s really no way of finding out unless you let go of the other choice.

Personally and professionally, I am in a fork in the road moment. And I am currently at that point in my life where there is a balancing act with my roles as a mother and wife and a professional who needs to grow steadily and contribute to something meaningfully.

The uncertainty of the next few weeks and the next phase of life in general is slowly eating away at my peace. But I have to quickly learn to be comfortable with this. That’s the only way to grow. That’s the only way to live. If I truly cannot do anything today, I will just choose to practice acceptance and self-compassion.