It seemed so long ago when you promised yourself you’d do something cool with your life this year, like going on your first trip with the barkada, attending a concert you’ve patiently saved up for, spending a semester abroad, or even something as simple as attending your batch graduation. When you think about it, it was only five months—MONTHS—ago when you made one of these your New Year’s resolution.
Things were looking up and you finally decided to call 2020 your year. But the world suddenly stopped when a pandemic emerged, and everything about the way we all used to live eventually changed as well.
We used to imagine that chasing our dreams meant going on risky but exciting adventures and jumping into the unknown. But in the midst of a pandemic, the 'unknown' doesn’t seem exciting anymore because it’s not the kind of unknown we willingly chose to dive into. If you had any sort of plans, big or small, that got cancelled, here are some things you might be feeling right now:
It feels like you can’t afford to ‘dream’ anymore.
When we’re faced with a global health crisis, the way we prioritize our needs also shifts. Our hopes of chasing after dreams and goals waned all of a sudden because we have more urgent and more important things to worry about right now. Abraham Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of needs supports this sentiment. According to the psychologist’s theory, individuals tend to satisfy physiological and safety needs first before they pursue the needs related to self-fulfillment.
Maybe you wanted to pursue further studies and take up masters abroad, but with layoffs happening left and right, you might think that the money you’ll spend for it is better kept for your family’s needs instead. While a pandemic is still in the picture, it suddenly feels wrong and selfish to prioritize your dreams.
You're stuck, literally and figuratively.
Quarantine restrictions may have eased up, but it’s still safer to stay inside where there’s a slim chance of acquiring and spreading the virus. Staying at home sounded pretty doable at first. You suddenly had all the time to do things you were too busy to do before. But eventually, you’ll start to feel the kind of ‘tired’ that isn’t from commuting or being in school all day. It’s the kind of tired that a good night’s sleep can’t easily fix.
Because we can’t go outside as freely as we used to, it feels like we’ve also lost the ability to step outside our comfort zones. We’re stuck—literally and figuratively—inside, and it’s making us feel like nothing is within our control.
But, it’s not the end of your goals.
This year, nothing may have worked out the way you planned. But it’s not the end of the road just yet. Think of it as plans getting delayed instead of cancelled. Some day, you’ll find another opportunity to set out on your life-long dreams.
For now, though, use this time to work on things you’ll need to reach your goals in the future. Build on the necessary skills, learn new things, read up. Or take a break, do nothing and clear your mind, slow your pace down and rebuild your habits. All these little things that might not seem like they’ll get you anywhere are actually small steps towards accomplishing your goals.
Your timetable may have been shaken up and your plans may have gotten delayed, but you’re still on the right track, and if you just keep going no matter how slowly, you’ll eventually reach your destination.
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