About looking forward

It’s been over 13 months since I stayed and worked at home due to covid. Last year I initiated a 30-day covid warrior challenge in my department with a very optimistic thought that we would get back to normal in one to three months. We are still not there yet… The good news is I got vaccinated and more and more people got vaccinated. It looks promising that this fall we will get back to school with a more “normal” looking life.

Being by myself going through covid is a bit challenge when you are isolated, socially and physically. The warrior challenge helped me so much in navigating through and adapting to the covid stay-at-home lifestyle. Being an introverted and shy person, I don’t often feel lonely. However, being completely isolated from human face-to-face interactions is hard.

Given all these barriers and inconvenience that covid brought to our lives, I was able to live positively and productively. I revamped my daily habits and tracking systems. I finished reading 3 books after many years of not quite reading. I started watercolor painting, which helped me keep sane sometimes lol, and had a lot of fun. I collaborated with three groups of colleagues that I never had worked with before and submitted a federal grant, also my first time. I published 5 articles, although most of these came from the effort of previous years. I made some new friends and developed friendships more than the sum of the past 3 years. I even had a dalliance, which is sweet and inspiring.

Huh, what a surprise. Now, thinking back, I am even amazed by myself. Because I pushed my own boundaries in many ways given I have been a “social minimalist” for my entire life. Covid really makes me think about relationships with others. As a new area of learning to me, I have experienced quite some ups and downs and learning pain. Of course, I made tons of mistakes and until a while later I found them to be mistakes. I jumped the gun too often without waiting for others to respond. I felt insecure and not enough. Sometimes, I regret and criticize myself why I would make those silly mistakes but at the same time, I know this is all-natural and what you need to pay for the growth.

I read a quote a day ago by a lovely kind human being “rather than obsessing over what you could’ve done differently in the past, make a decision today to give yourself the gift of a fresh start”. I am still on the journey and not where I want to be yet. But I think it is time to look forward and have a fresh start, knowing it is the journey and I am enough. I just need to be myself and embrace what life is showing me. And I know it will be great.

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