Updated: Aug 7, 2022
I couldn't of asked for a better time to be sick.
Strange as that may sound. I felt impermeable to the virus since this whole thing started, almost as if I knew it would wash off my back which it did time and time again when I shared intimate quarters with people who got infected and I didn't.
This time it was my due and nearly a favour to help me accomplish the transition that was designed for me at this particular moment. My boyfriend was out of town for a music festival almost the entirety of my quarantine. My childhood friend had just left town after a socially supersaturated (and FUN) weekend at our own musical festival. But most importantly, a big personal and professional transition was brewing for this fall, one that I hadn't necessarily carved the time to process emotionally.
While the details of this will remain discrete, what I can share is that the opportunity to feel weak was a welcome relief to the parts of me that needed to slow down, expect less and feel more. I tend to process sadness in advance of separation or mourn transitions before they happen, though relatively unconsciously. Sometimes I feel premonitory emotions before I even know the upcoming events they are attached to - then the thoughtful understanding comes in hindsight.
That rare breed that is summer sadness (especially odd for a sun and heat worshipper like myself) had been dancing with me on and off since I returned from Italy. A previous iteration of me would've confused this vulnerability with depression or dysfunctionality, but the self healing athlete in me knew better. With an Aquarius moon, I have come to be grateful for opportunities to feel, as it's generally not my go-to.
I am typically more comfortable in a land that is partly awash with cerebral interpretations, the hard lines blurred by my dreamy way of moving through existence. It often requires my usual physical stamina to wane for me to embrace the tenderness of discomfort whether that's existential awareness, empathy overload, a harsh look at an undesirable truth or simply an acknowledgment that I am not invincible.
Both of my neighbours were out of town this week which means that the floor of my building was occupied only by one of the neighbour's cats, Feline Dion, myself and my dear dog, Blue (my favourite creature on the planet). The unusual quiet and privacy of the building, made soft and comforting by my mom's delivery of my favourite snacks (that perhaps only her and I would consider comfort food), provided a liminal sanctuary for me to process what normally I'd be uncomfortable for others to witness. The imposed isolation of the sickness was like a free pass to discard my usual obligations and productivity pressures (well only to a degree, they are too insistent).
It was such a good time to be sick.
I say this tongue in cheek as I know many people in my community dealing with dangerously debilitating or at least rattling moments of illness and I don't claim to be able to understand what they are going through. What strikes me as interesting, however, is that despite my body being seemingly "invaded" by a foreign contaminant, it felt like a loving gift. A firm squeeze from the Universe that contained me just enough to feel safe, with relief found through Tylenol and a gracious delivery on the other side of an introspective portal.
I am probably one of the rare breeds that has some nostalgia for lockdown because the reduced stimuli and social expectations provided me a really rich laboratory for creation and innovation. Not just that, but the sheer simplicity of being in one place and not engaging in constantly variegated relationship dynamics revealed to me a functionality in everyday tasks and accountability that I wasn't aware I could access.
Perhaps I am not poor at tidying or incapable of staying connected to my body with patience and curiosity - rather, I am simply and have most often been dealing with a form of overstimulation. When you strip down the variables around me, a rich playground of inner textures and longings emerge fully formed.
At some points in my life, I have found my natural extraversion to feel almost like a curse. I accumulate new friends like a velcro suit walking through dandelion fluff in allergy season. I cringe as I say it because it sounds arrogant or ungrateful but it is not one sided. I see virtues in most people, am naturally curious and find it second nature to nurture relationships with a variety of people. So much so that it is nearly impossible to keep regular contact in all my relationships unless I were to spend all my time on the phone or grabbing a beverage or taking a walk etc. If I didn't put up barriers or limit myself, my entire life would be filled with talking. (You can trust me on this, I've been there before, more often than not).
What felt like such a relief when I started this business was that I could provide a container for connection that actually nourished my material needs for stability rather than burning me out emotionally or psychically. It's hard to imagine adding motherhood to the list because my heart's desires to maintain connection with such a large number of people already feels like an insatiable mouth to feed.
So quarantines or being under the weather become the generous hands that allow me to explore the blissful nether regions of my introversion. And what does this synergistic container produce more of? Writing, task completion, awareness of my environment and tending to it, and physical harmony. Also enhanced intimacy, sensual experimentation and a rich inner life (and some good TV).
As an only child, my inner world was a colourful and satisfying place but as a highly social, serial monogamist, this sanctum became harder to access in adulthood. It's probably why I wanted to work freelance at home and conduct my client work from the spatial recesses of Zoom calls. Nature and animals are the ideal enhancements of this solitude, perhaps rendering the experience even too seductively comfortable (second house south node, anyone?)
I share this for anyone who may need a reframe on feeling low. I had a couple of people write to me expressing their condolences that I wasn't feeling good and it felt almost abstractly inapplicable. Like they must've been referring to someone else? They couldn't be addressing me for whom Covid felt like a relieving bear hug, a luxurious chapter of soul retrieval and broadening intimacy and vulnerability (and highly decadent cuddles with Blue and her squishy caramel coat).
I have so often encouraged clients to dive into the softness, the underbelly of their productivity and distractions, and to embrace being less for a while. To give into that fully almost always produces an invigorating metamorphosis, much more so than putting off the shedding of activity by keeping up the role of "doer." While the fear of time passing is all too real, the truth is, my greatest occasions for transformation have often taken root in these periods of stillness while incessant busy-ness has sometimes been a way to stay stuck.
If you're being tested right now, ask how this detour may be a gift. The plan you've insisted on may not be in your best interest, and if you take your perceived failures as a loving redirection, you may find the courage to restructure the terms of your own self-repression. Admitting you don't know has a way of flipping itself to reveal your carnal, radical, innate intelligence.
It just takes courage to retire some storylines, make room for a few little mini-deaths and harness the curiosity to see what dynamic dragon emerges from the rubble.