This Moment is All I Know: The Many Emotions of COVID-19

Grief

Tonight, I will be hosting a virtual memorial service for my grandmother who passed away peacefully in her sleep last week.

On Zoom. What a bizarre, confusing time this has been for so many people. I don’t think anyone, let alone a woman born in 1930, could have ever imagined being honored in this way. Our family will both mourn and celebrate my grandma Dorothy’s life of singing, laughter and artistry—via our laptops. At the very least, I am grateful we live in a time where we have the technology to be together even when we’re apart.

I’ve never experienced such a wide range of emotions in such a short period of time. Have you? Here are more of mine.

Isolation

I’m living alone during this COVID-19 crisis. It makes my heart drop to reveal my physical isolation in writing. It sounds sadder than I feel, but it’s still very real.

Courage and Anticipation

Before the world went into crisis, I was experiencing a courageous euphoria starting my new entrepreneurial journey as a Vision Producer.

I had recently produced a podcast combining financial advising and executive coaching with my brother Michael, called Seriously Though. Then I launched Color Forward podcast with my co-founders Rosa and Merary, highlighting multicultural women in the workplace.

I was so ready to splash into the world, exploring my Vision Producer adventure: partnering with people to make their big projects bigger, their wild dreams wilder, and taking their imaginations to higher places. I had no idea how it might work, but I was running on the confidence of my past successes making big things happen, planning for them to carry me to a profitable future.

Ambivalence

As the world shifted in March, so did I. I am shifting now. I am changing. I don’t know what it means, I don’t know what it’ll look like…I know I’m still me, and I’ve kind of been discovering parts of me that have always been there but have been coming out in full force. I feel everything and I feel nothing.

Empowerment

In our latest episode of Color Forward: Trappin, Mappin, Zappin, my co-founders and I give our take on this pandemic. We discuss media consumption for positive mental health, the chasm of privilege showing up in the crisis, and of course, all the carbs. For me, having friends I can sum things up with, relate to and learn from is such an empowering time of connection for me. Rosa and Merary are a true inspiration to me.

Please listen, because I think you might relate, too. And the 10 ladies we’re interviewing in the upcoming weeks are ON FIRE.

Overwhelm (with the makings of resilience?)

I have been working so much and have been so incredibly busy over the past few weeks that I pushed myself too hard. I’ve been serving by coaching pro-bono and supporting others in various ways. I’m on calls all day everyday, mostly with people who’ve only come into my life over the last four weeks…am I crazy? Possibly. Am I bringing in income the way a new entrepreneur should? Nope.

Although these past few weeks have been so fulfilling (a benefit of giving back during a time of need), I simply went past my limit. But how do you know your limit when it feels like the world is on fire and you have the time and unique skills to address it? So, now I’m having to fuel up, say no a little more often, and get a ton of rest in order to keep on going. This isn’t over.

Fun

I must plug my brother-sister project, Seriously Though: a podcast about succeeding in life and at work. In today’s episode, I make fun of Michael not being the best at online dating. What older sister doesn’t think that’s fun!?

But seriously though, Michael brings such a grounded, level-headed perspective on finance to our conversations, that I also have fun listening to him in his element. And he thinks I’m smart when I talk about things like transition theory, so, win-win.

Queue up Quarantined Dating, Emotional Cycle of Investing and Transition wherever you listen to podcasts.

Confusion and Assurance

Okay, so now what? I have no clue what tomorrow will bring, let alone any time after that. One thing I am newly firm on is that I do not find any self-identity in being gainfully employed. So there’s that.

When I’m not scared, regretful, or anxious about my circumstances, I’m so very happy. I feel an elated freedom to be all of me, at all times. I’ve always found my identity in being a child of God, so special thanks to my Sunday School teachers throughout the years (and God, obviously), because without that firm foundation, my current and inevitable wobbliness might turn into absolute defeat.

Hope

Earlier today, I didn’t know how I felt, so I just watched The Voice on Hulu and cried to whatever emotional song anyone was singing. Tonight for our Zoom memorial service, I’m not especially looking forward to tearing up then, but now, in this moment, I feel hope. I feel hope that in this crisis, people will discover new ways to accept themselves, unrelated to productivity, unrelated to the hustle, unrelated to their external circumstances.

There are people putting their lives on the line for the rest of us, people grieving, people discouraged and depressed, people learning to love in new ways, and people exploring their resilience in powerful ways. None of this is easy, but right now, in this moment, I feel hope.

And this moment is all I know.

Helping powerful women get clarity at The Happy Cactus. Producer of the Color Forward podcast, co-host of Seriously Though podcast. More: thehappycactus.club