turning 27: lessons learned before and during the quarantine

On March 2nd, I continued my birthday tradition of recording bits of knowledge I’ve collected during the year. Now, on March 25th, a few things in the world have changed. The lessons I previously wrote seem so far away from what I’m learning and experiencing now.

Voicing my thoughts and spouting general advice about “social-distancing” and “flattening the curve” seems redundant, a shout into the void. I’m caught in the balance of wanting to write, yet writing about the current state of the world is daunting, and not writing about what’s occurring seems flippant. So, I’ll touch on both.

Here are my lessons learned pre-quarantine:

  • Turning 27 means being beyond excited to open a vacuum as your birthday gift.
  • Good coworkers can make an initially terrible day enjoyable. Show them how much you appreciate them.
  • The ability to genuinely apologize when you’re incorrect is a valuable and rare skill.
  • Reading before bed is always a good idea. And melatonin gummies?! Where have you been my whole life?
  • Having crushed couch cushions from the dog perching himself near the window is irritating now, but will be missed in the future.
  • Don’t think about social media. It doesn’t deserve your attention.
  • Say no to unhealthy and unnecessary situations, even though it might be awkward. (Still working on this one.)
  • Listen to people when they tell you what kind of person they are and what they like. They know themselves better than anybody.
  • Download a birthday tracking app. Send those birthday cards.
  • Listen to podcasts, especially if they make you laugh or learn something new.
  • Creating a home is easy with the right person.
  • Receiving a thoughtful letter from a friend is one of the purest forms of happiness.

Lessons learned during the quarantine:

  • Find gratitude in tough situations. I never thought I would be grateful to be laid off from work, but here I am.
  • Say hi to your neighbors. Wave to people sitting on their balconies. We’re all going through this together.
  • Each moment of boredom is an opportunity for memory made, no matter how silly or ridiculous, or over the top it may feel.
  • If you get the urge to (pitifully) practice splits and handstands in your living room, just do it. Even if it’s 10pm. Strike when the motivation hits, in between the anxiety and boredom.
  • Bake bread. It makes you feel productive, makes the hours go by, and the end result is bread.
  • It’s hard to not be cheesy when saying this, but take each day as it comes. In times like these, we are fortunate to be breathing freely, watching Netflix, being bored out of our minds, and telling our dog to quit barking. None of us know what day will be our last.

To all of you reading, stay gold. We all have more to say, but the time doesn’t feel quite right to delve into the massiveness of it all. Can’t wait to reflect with you on the other side of this.

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