This pandemic that shut down the world and upended all of our 2020 plans has brought frustration, fear, anxiety, stress, loneliness, and all the bad habits to the forefront. If you asked anyone two years ago, what they thought the world would be like today, no one could have imagined the world we live in now.
Though our everyday lives have been changed for better or worse, it has transformed us in unimaginable ways.
One such way is how much time we spend with ourselves.
From music to silence
I grew up in a multigenerational home in which privacy was something of a rarity. A parent home, or at least a grandparent, would be cooking symphony, and either a sibling or cousin would be yelling an opera at the tv screen! The essence of noise and presence had flooded our house and privacy and silence was a strange experience. Even as we all grew older and each with our own lives, our extended family would still meet every month, and we’d add to our big family with new babies and new partners getting married. Some of us rave about good news, explain posts we had shared, or just sat in observation mode. It was normal to touch base or see each other every so often, especially around the holidays. Making the trek out for family was normalized and distance did not seem to matter.
Graduating college, and swimming in the sea of isolation, I sought to find the familiar in strangers. The niche in the creative community was such refuge. There was always some festival going on. Either a show to watch, some soul on stage to listen to, or a melody of stories and string instruments to discover. Each and every night, my feet found family in cafes, music stores, bars, stages, and parks.
All of that changed with the pandemic and the virus that shut down the world. These creative story-telling events have become non-existent; and the family events we used to have every so often, disappeared too.
In the past 10 months, I have spent more time away from family, friends, and people I care about, than I ever have in the past 2 decades. The silence was deafening at first.
Living with the silence
This silence that shrouded my house, seemed more lonely, than alone. It was like the demons in my head finally came out to play and I could only hear their criticism. I wondered if they had been living there all along and I was just now discovering them?
Some days are harder than others and I think many people have felt the heaviness of a single day that can last a week, and/even a month.
We have tried to escape and try to find solace from our day to day and learning to cope. I think the biggest factor that has helped me during this time has been learning to meditate and develop my practice.
Meditation and mindfulness have helped me to just “be” with these thoughts and feelings. Meditation has been very helpful for alleviating the feeling of loneliness. The past experiences of living with noise almost seem like a distant memory. Focusing on self-awareness and the importance of silence, and just setting aside five or ten minutes just to close my eyes and breathe deeply with my thoughts. Finding a quiet place without distractions and just letting myself be has slowly become easier. This simple practice has helped to dramatically relax my mind and to learn acceptance and tolerance for the silence. It has helped me be with silence deeply and completely as if it was family.
Hi there! I’m Stacy (pronouns she/her/hers) and I am the Outreach Coordinator for Acacia Davis office. If I am not working, you can find me either writing poetry on my laptop outside, meditating in the shade, on a bike, or on a hike in the mountains! I love stories, and I hope you share yours too, by writing for our blog as a guest writer.