I know, sometimes your thoughts stray upon death. Of a loved one. Of someone dear. Yourself. You once thought that you’re ready for death. That you’ve done and accomplished so many things that you can probably die content at that very moment. Never regretting anything. Never looking back. But this pandemic changed everything. A death close to one of your friends jolted you out of that fantasy. What of the people you’re leaving behind? A new-born son. A wife. A grieving family. The virus is out there. More infectious than ever.
I know, sometimes your thoughts stray on self-worth. Whatever happened to your dreams and career? That sponsorship you’ve been working so hard to get. Opportunities you’ve missed out on as the world stopped on its heel. Money that’s now just trickling oh so ever slowly into your bank account. Months passing by without anything happening. The world has stopped. And your career has stopped along with it.
I know, sometimes your thoughts stray on nostalgia. Businesses closing down. Restaurants you’ve dined on as a kid. Bars you’ve spent countless weekends on with friends. The memories associated with it, gone forever but in your head. Fading into the darkness of forgetting.
I know, sometimes your thoughts stray on the humdrumness of routine. When the only thing you’ve accomplished all day was clean the house. Fix toys, broken by your baby. Tape back ripped pages from toddler books. Repair things around the house. And at the end of the day—tired, unappreciated, and ready to break—you realized you’ve done zero for yourself.
I know, sometimes your thoughts stray on relationships. Strained. On the verge of breaking. Being housebound for more than a year has probably done that to you. Without break, the daily routine grinds down on you. Small little dark feelings pile inside your heart. Filling it up without you knowing. And before you know it, you turn a corner and huge monsters of emotions come hurtling out.
I know, sometimes your thoughts stray on places. Cities you once visited. Countries you listed down on your head. Places that seemed as far away now as Neverland. Travel, a once magical word that fills you with excitement, now means going from your house to the grocery store. And it now fills you with dread. Of being infected. And bringing the virus back home with you.
I know, sometimes your thoughts wander on how superficial life has become. Finding cheap thrills from something as shallow as online shopping. Guilt besieging you as you spend money. Finding comfort in something as inconsequential as purchasing toys. While on the news, you see families lining up for food.
I know, sometimes your thoughts stray on hope. A lightening of feeling. That everything’s finally going to be okay. Vaccines arriving. Cases dwindling. Then it’s quickly dashed off. A fickle flame fanned out by a cold wind. Infection cases rises. And the vaccines, not enough.
But then, your thoughts focuses on your son. Your dear son. A ray of light. Less than a year old when the pandemic hit. A child who greets you in broken words and a bright smile every single morning as you shake off the cobwebs of sleep. Along with your wife, reminding you that all this would pass. That you have to live. That you are important. That new memories can be made. That there is nothing wrong with routine. That relationships always mend. That you can travel again. That it’s okay to reward yourself from time to time. And that there is hope. There is always hope.
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.