As days turn to nights, and nights turn to day, we are all feeling the effects of quarantine. In light of exploring hope and gaining some inspiration from others with their perspectives, I sought out to talk to a few creative, artist and talent about how they are feeling and what they are up while we are all collectively choosing to practice social distancing. I'd like to begin with series with three models that live around the globe. Alexandria from New York, New York, Helena from Sao Paolo, Brazil and Semaj out of Oakland, California.
Alexis: What is your quarantine silver lining? There have been so many changes in the lives of creatives and small business owners now that we are homebound; are there things that you have reconnected with since "shelter in place" has become an active thing globally? Is there anything new that you have discovered?
Alexandria: My mind has been very active and congested for many, too many years. It's effect of tension and anxiety has been something I've married into my day to day. This time at home has allowed me recognize the extent of my unsettled mind. I've never been able to give "names" to the thoughts inside my mind other than what feels like a swirling tornado. The first few days were a forced meeting with myself and my mental health. My quarantine silver lining is the harsh but necessary task of sitting down with my emotions, learning what has been making me feel so anxious for so many years, and finding peace with those things.
My reconnection is with myself. I've drown my thoughts and emotions with work. I call these "universe moments", where the universe talks to us. My conversation involved learning to cherish the time I have with myself, my capabilities, and now my family. Time that isn't spend working is not wasted. It's time for self love and appreciation. I truly believe that it is in reflection that we find what to do next.
Helena: I think that we have too see the positive side even in a situation as delicate as the one the world is currently experiencing. For me it's been very important because I am closer to my family. My work takes me a long way since I have to travel a lot. Finding out more about your family members can help you better understand yourself. I could say that meditation and time with my family are very important to me right now. I hope that what is happening at the moment will help people to think a little more about what really matters in our lives and of course I hope that people will connect more with nature giving it the due respect it deserves. I hope that now people understand the real importance of a scientist, biologist, a doctor and all professionals in the field of science and health. It is very sad to compare the salary of a football player with a salary of a biologist, the difference feels dishonest and shows how much our values are inverted. This quarantine makes me think about all these things and I hope others are thinking about this also.
Semaj: For some people quarantining is a bit of the desert island game actualized. I didn’t have my own private space for a few months when I was traveling, so it is nice to be within walls completely tailored to me lined with books, flowy gowns and records. It’s been this reconnecting period with my home and my old self as well. I’m reminded of the girl I used to be who wouldn’t dare leave the dreamscape of her room unless to wander the streets alone.
Do you have a mantra that helps you deal with the day to day changes
Alexandria: My mantras are very simple: "It won't last forever", "Everything will be okay", and "Be kind to yourself and others".
Even though they are my mantras, I lose them sometimes too. It is the moments where I find them again that I am stronger.
Helena: Not really....
Semaj: I haven't developed any sort of mantra…maybe the constant murmur of NPR coming from my radio.
What is one thing you miss? Because you can’t have the good without the bad, even though in marketing we all like to paint a picture of the purely positive, what you miss can be a donut or coffee from your favorite spot, or getting a drink with friends and celebrating. Whatever!
Alexandra: I sincerely miss the buzz of the city. A city is just a bunch of buildings pushed together without its people. I also miss my spin and yoga studios! Simply going out with old work friends at a dingy but still trendy bar in Brooklyn sounds like a luxury right now
Helena: I love to walk around, it doesn't matter where I go, I just love to explore and I can't do this anymore but I really hope that soon I can do all this again.
Semaj: Because social interactions are mostly happening through digital spaces, you are removed from a lot (if not all) of unwanted socializing. Communication has been reduced down to close friends, who have your number, address, or some form of contact information. I didn’t realize this until the other night, at 11 pm when I walked through my neighborhood and a man gave me that look - the look of objectification, followed by a comment about my body. It hit me that it’s been over a week since a person engaged with me without me desiring them to. There’s this other side of it too though, that has been very hard for me. There are people in my life that are peripheral figures that significantly influence and enrich my life. They aren’t my friends and most of the time I know very little about these people. But I’m not seeing them anymore, and some of the color from my life has gone. While being removed from the rabid beasts of the world is a delight, I miss the feeling of making eye contact with a stranger, the comfort of someone knowing you without ever explaining anything about yourself, that sonder feeling, I really miss it. I really want to talk to a stranger sitting beside me. I can tell other people miss this too.
Quarantine Songs and movie recommendations:
Alexandra: Loco de Amor by Juanes is such a feel good album
Helena: Any Greatest Hits album of Cher's will perk me up instantly.