A Year of the Pandemic

We have passed the year mark with the pandemic. I’ve seen a number of my friends posting about the last thing they did pre-quarantine.

The world has changed a lot since then. But I’d argue that we have changed a lot too. I know I have for sure. Some of them were good, and some were not so good. That’s life.

This time last year, I was unsure about how I was going to finish my theses when I wanted to. But then, once my student teaching got canceled, all of a sudden my schedule opened up. I was able to complete my research using actual books and online sources. (Granted, getting those books was like a drug deal, but it’s all fine).

Another change I’ve noticed is my ability to calm down/remain calm in more stressful situations. When I started student teaching last January, I was very nervous and terrified. But starting my own classroom in August was much easier. For one thing, I knew that these are my kids. I’m not the intruder. For another thing, we started the year completely virtual. It’s a lot less intimidating talking to a computer screen. And it was a little rough at first, but I’ve built these relationships with my students and they respond, to the point where they got excited that I came back after missing a day.

I also feel that I’m a lot more prepared for life in general. I did my interviews for job opportunities virtually. So when I had the opportunity to present my research for a conference, I had little to no issues doing it virtually (in addition to teaching virtually).

I also got a membership to the gym this past year. Since less people were there, I felt less intimidated at first because there weren’t many people, so who cared about one more?

I know these are all good examples. And there were quite a few good things that happened. But there were also some bad things as well. I don’t like talking about that I didn’t have a graduation and am still undecided about the ceremony for this year since I already have my diploma and a job. I also don’t like to mention that my grandmother passed away a month ago. And while she didn’t die of COVID, the quarantine and restrictions really increased her decline over the past year.

I could go on and on. I have lots of thoughts and feelings about this past year. It has shaped and molded me more than I expected. And while not all of it was good, I am grateful for it. I grow more calm and at peace with myself every single day. I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments. I have nothing to prove and very few people to please. I know my worth and my value.

I’m not psychic. I don’t have the gift of prophecy. I don’t know what the future looks like. But I’m doing the best I can to take each day as it is: a gift, an opportunity, and a learning experience. Not all of them are good, but all of them shape you in some way. I’m constantly still working on myself. I definitely have good and bad days, but I’m always looking to improve. That’s always a constant, no matter how crazy the world gets.

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