This time of slowness and loneliness has been one of the most emotionally trying experiences of my life. I haven't had such an empty schedule since birth. Never have I spent this much alone time with my thoughts before either.
With all this stillness, I am left alone. Left alone with my own thoughts. If you are like me that is scary.
If you know me personally you know that I am ALWAYS on the go. I always have something to do or somewhere to be or I will find something. For those of you who don't know me (yet), in college (so like last semester... oh kay two years ago) I worked two part time jobs, went to school full time and played collegiate softball all while maintaining a decent social life and being the local Dunkin Donuts number one customer. Now that I have graduated, I maintain a part time job outside of working full time at the Pink Valise boutique just because I need something to do on my off days. Clearly, I don't like to sit still but with quarantine I feel like I am making up for all those years at once.
Now I definitely know that I am not the only one who feels this way but do you feel like your entire life revolves around your job? Like your job is part of you literally? I identify myself through my job. Now you can only imagine how hard it is now that we are temporarily closed. Who am I?!
Instead of being at work where there is a constant stream of customers and employees wandering in and out with their own stories and opinions needing to be shared with a retail worker (we are like your hairdresser, an unlicensed therapist), I am in my undecorated room by myself (that's how little time I spend here). I don't even have picture frames or wall art to distract me from myself. My current getaway is going into the store a few times a week to get a few tasks done but I am, again, mostly alone during this time. It is just a nice change of scenery.
Now some of you may be asking, 'What about your family Kaytlyn?'. Well since you asked they are actually about 700 miles away. I was born and raised right outside of Miami, Florida and ran away to Thomasville, Georgia for college. Then I decided that, that wasn't far enough so I agreed to move even further away to Alpharetta without ever even visiting the Atlanta area. (Crazy,huh?) Now let me say that I LOVE my family. I would murder anyone who looked at them the wrong way which is why I knew I needed to get away. I had to force myself to take care of myself first which is why I moved. I would not have grown into the person I am today without those decisions.
Here is where my thoughts start to take over. Was I wrong for leaving? How could I be so selfish? Really, why SO far? How dare I? I am not there to protect them. I have lost my own support group. This would be a great time to live closer.
I have had to force my thoughts elsewhere. I must force my own light to shine brighter for myself. I have found that creating that light means appreciating the things bringing me a sense of normalcy and a glimpse of happiness.
There are a few things that I appreciate more than ever:
1. The good morning text my mother sends me everyday since we have been under quarantine
2. Books (my greatest distraction during this time)
3. Conversations that are not about the coronavirus!!!!!
4. Eating out
During this time there are things that I am obviously grateful for as well like of course my family, friends, job, and health. I am grateful for the men and women on the frontline, battling this horrible pandemic that has truly put the world at a halt. A special thanks to all of those in the healthcare industry. A special thank you to all of our essential workers as well, especially our grocery store clerks and post office workers, that the world took for granted for too long.
I also understand that my battles are nowhere near as difficult as others during this time. I have a feeling that I am not the only one feeling this way. During a time of such negativity and unknown, it is strenuous to constantly stay positive, almost painful. Every time we turn on the television, there is a higher death. Every time we look at our phones a new case load seemly closer to home.
Instead of just trying to be positive, make a list that you are grateful for. NOT the basic God, family, friends and my health but a real list. What is that little beam of light getting you through this time? Even if it's your daily bubble bath or that face mask that make your face feel super soft. Do not be afraid to enjoy and appreciate all the smaller things in life because that is currently all we have.
Stay safe and healthy,
Alpharetta Store Manager