Contributor is exactly Matthew Jonas
2020Over the last five or so years, I've been dreaming about some event that would stir up some excitement in New York City, preferably some good event, but an event nonetheless. Never did I dream that it would actually come true, unfortunately in the form of a worldwide pandemic. Why couldn't it be something more fun, like aliens (although it seems like we might be getting there)? While the pandemic didn't bring anything exciting per se, it brought some change with it. When it began to be taken more seriously last year (2020), when all the shutdowns began to occur, I saw a major change in my day to day life. From being laid off of work, not being able to go to classes in-person anymore, and not being able to see any friends in person either, the normal, repetitive life that I had gotten so used to had disintegrated within just a couple weeks, if not shorter. It forced me to look at things in a different light, and as I was forced to be by myself for most of it, as we all were, I felt as if I needed to find some positivity and motivation in the few things I could do and had control over. I finally had time to focus on myself and made sure things like my physical/mental health and education were a priority. I took up cycling, as it was one way for me to be active and remain safe because it's not really something you need to do with others, and that opened the world up to me, especially with how empty the city was. Even my quiet pocket of Queens got quieter as barely anyone was outside, so while it did feel a bit post-apocalyptic out sometimes, it also gave me a sense of peace and freedom. Also, with having so much more time at home and not having to commute, I took advantage of online-learning to really give myself as much time as I needed, instead of the previous sense of rush and urgency I used to feel when it came to assignments, and actually turned my grades around pretty drastically. While the pandemic has been horrific on most fronts, by working my hardest to make the best of it, I've been able to better myself as it's given me time to enact real self-care. Something I've never taken the time to do before.