'As A Fresh Grad, My Dreams Were Put On Hold And IDK How To Feel'
The year is 2020 and there’s now a meme for every feeling you can’t describe through words. Like this new one that perfectly captures what our 2020 plans look like. If you haven’t watched Parasite yet, this one might be a total spoiler. We’ll let you figure out what it means.
It’s a pretty recent meme but it’s already spreading in various versions, depending on which corner of the pop culture universe you associate yourself with. The year is 2020, we’re in the midst of pandemic, and our life goals have literally been thrown out the window. Fresh grads didn't get the ceremonies they deserve and they're entering an unstable workforce. Things don't seem to be looking good.
You might feel slightly discouraged.
Just when you were finally getting your life together or mustering up the courage to put yourself out there, you end up spending a good amount of time cooped up in your homes, because it’s unwise to literally go out there. Classes are being reconfigured to operate online. Graduation rites—the culmination of sleepless study nights with matching iyak sessions sa banyo—are not happening, at least not the way tradition dictates. Nothing is normal anymore and it might feel a little demoralizing.
You might feel bad for feeling bad.
It’s completely logical to worry about your derailed plans, but sometimes, you can’t help but think that there are much more urgent and graver concerns to worry about, like real people’s lives being put at stake every day because of the pandemic. Maybe you’re feeling a hint of guilt for how vastly different your problems are from the rest of the world, or at least those around you. But hey, this doesn’t mean your personal concerns about your goals are rendered invalid. These emotions don't immediately go away on their own, so you will have to allow yourself to process them in order to reassess your plans moving forward. We may primarily be facing a fatal disease, but recent events prove that this pandemic is not just a health crisis.
You might feel a little displaced.
No one can say for sure when or if things will go back to “normal,” but this feeling of uncertainty shouldn’t stop you from finding meaning in your life. In an article on Psychology Today, Steven C. Hayes, PhD mentions the five hurdles of staying home due to the pandemic and one of the challenges stated was that of finding meaning. Now that our routines have been shattered and our dreams have been put on hold, what defines us now? The author suggests finding alternative ways to fulfill our passions and redefining what’s truly meaningful for us.
Our goals aren’t just things to check off a list. There’s a motivation behind each of them, and looking for an alternate way to fulfill those motivations from things we can do at home might help. We set career goals because we yearn for a sense of success, but maybe we can still achieve that desire for accomplishment through fundraisers or online charity drives.
It might feel like there’s no more room to dream or chase after goals, but that’s not entirely true. You can still work your way towards your goals or set new ones little by little, day by day.
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Outdoors Danielle Flestado @artdkf | May 1, 2020 "I miss the outside world. The last time I went outside of our house was on my birthday. We just bought coffee across our village and went back home immediately. This painting made me feel that I'm in a field, just appreciating the beauty of God's creation. Can you imagine the green grass and pink flowers?"
When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.
You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.
You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?
I always thought of life, like a bead where each piece makes it worth sewing together with other piece of beads to make a stronger bond and to create a beautiful result. Today, how do we bond well with different people especially this difficult time? As this day challenges us to a new normal, may we continue to bead along positively with our life.