Very few people watch reruns of their own volition. There’s something about being made to experience the same exact situations, plot twists, and characters that offends the human mind. But sometimes, there’s nothing better on.
This past year is like a year of reruns. Each of its 52 weeks consists of 5 weekdays and 2 days on the weekend, more or less, with the same routine day in, and day out. At least, that’s been the experience of most due to lack of colorful punctuations that might break through the monotony.
Liking holding your breath through a long tunnel, at the start, you’re confident in your ability to ride it through. But as time passes and the light at the end of the tunnel remains infuriatingly small, you start to doubt yourself. “Am I really going to make it?” you wonder as your chest grows tense.
No need to beat the reader over the head with metaphors, I’m clearly referring to the global pandemic that has affected all of us to some degree. But there are some interesting dichotomies that make this all-encompassing bog all the more maddening.
While humanity has been plagued by disease since the beginning of recorded history, there’s something different about this time around. Or so my modern human mind leads me to believe.
Whirling news cycles, designed to keep us constantly informed, report the same thing day in, and day out.
Agonizingly connected via technology, we are, at the same time, kept separate from our dreams or our family.
We are told that remote work will allow us to operate “business as usual” and yet somehow everything is frustratingly different.
My daughter grows and learns while I feel unconsolably stagnate.
And despite our global supply chain and technological advances, the pandemic rages in some regions while others enjoy vaccines, optimism and reopening.
It’s groundhog’s day on a heretofore unseen scale.
Though we’re all “in it together,” somehow the long days and nights are forcing us to turn inward more than ever before. With so much and yet so little freedom, the quietness of the everyday can feel maddening.
This void has ironically been the only thing capable of inspiring me to write in these past few months. As the online conversation surges around me, nothing seemed necessary to say about this incident or that bit of uproar. Someone was already saying it better and faster.
But this frustrating feeling of sameness, has finally broken the dam where no other topic could, erupting across the page. A build-up of writer’s block has finally produced something.
When all this is said and done, hopefully we will all be a little more comfortable with the void – the prolonged companionship of ourselves. That is, after all, the longest relationship we will ever have.
I guess my ultimate message is to myself: “don’t hold your breath.”