thank you for letting me see you.

Dear friends,

The last few months have required change for all of us. For some, the changes have been big — hospitalization, death, job and income loss, housing and food insecurities, and more. For others, the changes have been smaller — unexpectedly without childcare, working from home, and a change in daily routines and habits. All of us have been impacted by coronavirus in some way but, just as each of us are unique in our genetic material and circumstance, the way we each experience this pandemic is unique.

When the pandemic began to affect MIT I got scared. Really scared. Given my own struggles and unhealthy behavioral tendencies, an environment that mandates staying home for an extended period of time, would wreck havoc. My life felt strange and foreign. I struggled. I wanted to connect but I didn’t know what, if anything, was safe to share. On top of it all, I felt extremely guilty for my emotional response. I am in such a place of privilege now and I know what it’s like not to be. If the pandemic happened 10, or even just 5 years ago, I would not have been so fortunate.

That’s where you all came in. I reached out to you. Some of you are people I’ve known for decades, others only a short time. Many of you I do not talk to regularly and even more of you I have not talked to in years. I asked you to write about your own experiences during the pandemic. Your own struggles, your own strengths, and the way you are experiencing this time. Some of our conversations were private and some of them you allowed me to post on my blog. At a time when I felt alone, and scared, and isolated — you all came through and showed me such a great amount of compassion, love, and support. Thank you. Your words, whether a few sentences or many paragraphs, really helped.

A few months in now and things feel more normal, even if that “normal” is different than it used to be. There is still a lot that’s unknown but, even in the uncertainty there is a certain comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my humanity. The variety of our experiences may be unique to each of us, and the details of our lives may be unknowable by one another, but the knowledge that we are each fully and completely human, and thus can know and be known by one another in ways small and large, is a beautiful truth.

Thank you all for letting me to see you better.

Sincerely,
Heather

Pandemic Posts from friends:
Corona & Cancer
Protecting my family from COVID-19
No tests available
An essential job and life on hold
collective trauma
A (lighter) quarantine story
Captain Sweatpants
What will live on.
Choose compassion, not fear.
United by Staying Away
Things are okay in the moment.
Thriving in the Lockdown.
Quarantine Prayers.
Just me, my toddler, and a pandemic.
Balancing Risks and Rights

P.S. If any of you still have a story you would like to share, please let me know, I welcome as many more voices as possible. ❤

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