The “World” Is Opening Up, But My Body Is Not.
Whether the first Day of Stay at Home Orders looked like hauling a pristine Mac Desktop from work into your frat house of a bedroom, or having the day off from your restaurant hustle to get drunk and watch as much HBO GO as you could before it made the unclear but heavily purple switch to HBO Max, we all kind of assumed this would be over in three weeks.
So now it’s been over a year, and we can all distinctly tell which of our friends and family believe in science, affirmations, insurrections, crystals, Joe Biden, vaccinations, Q-Anon, or house plants. And in these polarizing times, you can only publicly make one of these your god so choose wisely based on your location and hopeful career moves.
Maybe it’s the quiet introvert in me--or the chaotic Scorpio that likes to tan by the flames as the world burns--but anytime someone would say, “Well, hopefully we’ll be back to normal soon...” the knee jerk reaction I would keep to myself was, “Ehhh...I kind of hope not?” But my parents worked very hard to get me into team sports so I could be socialized, and thus I am trained to respond out loud with, “Aw, this will all be over soon!”
This isn’t me coming out as an anti-vaxxer, or someone who invested in hundreds of thousands of FreeSampleOlivia.com masks. This is me coming out as someone whose not ready to just jump back into having to be upright and “on” for the majority of the day as my body has gone through significant changes. Had a teenage version of Olivia written this, the main concern would screech, “I gained three pounds, one in each thigh and one in my face so goodbye Hollywood dreams and hello continuous binge eating because that can’t possibly be the problem.” But since I’m a partially grown adult, the complaints are much more pathetic.
MY BODY CAN’T STAY UPRIGHT ANYMORE
Thanks to everyone’s new favorite acronym--or most loathed if you procreated--WFH has allowed me to take breaks a foot away from my desk, back in my bed. However, now that there are talks of “going back to the office” I fear that I can no longer function as a human being who’s spine has to be upright for more than four hours?! Not only that, but for multiple times a day?! I will be investing in a portable cot for everytime I half-yawn in the “real world” and decide it’s time for not exactly a nap, but not exactly a productive position switch. The only cure to this has been receiving defibrillator-like texts that read, “I don’t see that spreadsheet that was due yesterday in my Inbox...”
HAIR HAS BEEN FUBAR’ED
I’ve always loved experimenting with dying my own hair because it is fun to save $200 and ruin your bath tub all in one night. When I still had to regularly see people in public, I would keep my locks pretty controlled with natural colors like green. But the pandemic has granted me the opportunity to try the one product I was never allowed to touch as a pre-teen and that hairstylists have ripped out of my hands as an adult: Sun-In.
To any young readers who have parents who care about their strands, know that one day you’ll be able to make your own horribly independent decisions to fry your hair and will never again be told at CVS to, “put that back you’re not bleaching your hair with acid.” I’ve actually gotten a heaping handful of compliments on the look, but I should also make note that these are sent via Direct Message on the Interweb so the image worth commenting on has been carefully curated and extremely posed for. To go back to the “real world” and show people this orange mess of a random dye job might result more in therapist recommendations than praise.
THE RESURGENCE OF FOOT FUNGUS
Someone get me the knock-off Nobel Peace Prize (which I would have to assume is the Babybel Cheese Prize) for I have cured the incurable by doing absolutely nothing! The year 2018 was a time that saw me dog walking and working out in the rain which led to my shoes incubating moisture that grew into a colony of culture that then created settlements between the toes on my left foot. (Ain’t colonizing a bitch?) Thanks to the pandemic, I have been able to live my life in full bliss with out shoes or socks allowing the air to dry up the metropolitan city of Fungi. The most exciting part is I no longer scratch like a dog where someone seeing this would think, “Yikes, if she didn’t get it the first eighteen swipes we probably need to take her to the vet.” But, I’m afraid that if I’m forced to wear shoes again, the colony will have a resurgence, and possibly realize that there is a whole other foot they can jump to. (I have to assume the left foot is Earth making the right one their Mars.)
EYE CONTACT DURING CONVERSATIONS: IMPOSSIBLE!
How am I supposed to go back to chatting with people and looking at them? I have become far too comfortable and infatuated with looking at myself in conversations (thank you Facetime, thank you Zoom). I will now require all coffee and lunch dates to be held at the outdoor table next to the reflective windows so I can look past you talking to watch myself reacting. As for dinners and late night excursions, they will now only exclusively take place at bars, restaurants, and clubs that have unironically kept the trend from 2008 of hanging obnoxiously large mirrors with frames that appear to be stolen from Versailles.
MY SOUL - IT IS ALWAYS CRYING
Lastly, in an attempt to be vulnerable--which has been inspired by watching Brené Brown’s The Call To Courage (Netflix) and listening to one and half episodes of her podcast--I will say that my soul can no longer be expected to show up in public. Much like when you over extend your muscles by being overly competitive at Serenity Yoga making them uncontrollably twitch for the next 48 hours, I too have over extended my soul through inner work in an attempt to “beat this bitch” and will now randomly begin crying over things that trigger no one. Things such as an EDM song used in a commercial for blenders, or signs on apartment buildings advertising that they have been retrofitted for earthquakes, or most random of them all: strawberry flavored Philadelphia cream cheese. My mantras now include "Don't cry in this Trader Joe's, don't cry in this Trader Joe's, don't cry in this Trader Joe's." As I ramble these woes on high speed to my therapist (yes, I actually do have one so stop giving me recs just because my hair makes me look like Gritty the Mascot) I can feel her trying to pause my self-diagnosis to suggest I might be overdoing the inner work so much that I'm undoing it. Either way, it is just another part of my journey. A journey that now includes all the things we used to hate: obligatory appearances at your boyfriend’s birthday (ugh), participating in the company’s hiring of an improv troupe for team building (uggh), and worst of all: having to see me in public and say you enjoy reading my blog.
:') :') :')
If you enjoyed this piece please tap that adorable little Heart button! If you have concerns for Olivia, feel free to leave a comment! If you need to know more about this contained mess, consider reading about My Meditation Journey or How A Party School Prepared Me for A Pandemic.