It was the evening of December 31, 2020 – the last day of the year. I was wearing my striped dress while staring at the night sky full of stars and waiting for the New Year to come. Then a flashback of my year hit me like a bolt of lightning.
The year 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. When President Rodrigo Duterte said, “I will be placing the entire Luzon Island under a community quarantine due to the widespread COVID-19 virus.” At the start, I thought the world just temporarily stopped spinning for a while but, it turned into another week, months, and suddenly, 2020 felt like it only happened for three months.
For the entire year, I have been hearing from the news that people are taken into hospitals or quarantine facilities to isolate themselves while fighting against the virus. With that, I have come to realize that for the whole year, I am also like them, but the only difference is that I am not fighting against the virus, instead, I am battling against my anxieties and traumas that I had due to bad experiences.
Every day of my life during the lockdown was challenging. I find myself doing the same things every day, such as waking up, taking some snacks for breakfast, and going back to my room, where I will mostly spend my entire day. It was a challenge to be stuck in a house that does not even feel like home. For me, it felt like I was living in an unsafe environment that suffocates me because it triggers me. However, like what others would tell you about the positive effect of being alone, I was able to get to know myself more.
In the middle of the pandemic, I started to learn how to take care of myself. Considering that I spend most of my day alone inside my room, it allowed me to reflect and give myself the time that I was not able to give for the past two years. I also did workout routines that made me experience muscle pain for days because I am not a physically active person, and I mostly refused to do things that require exercise– which is why my mother also teased me for days with a smile on her face. My healing journey gave way to appreciate pieces of literature and talks that aim to inspire people. With writing my thoughts, reading the bible or self-help books, and listening to inspirational discussions, I found my way to breathe.
Corrie Ten Boom quotes, “When a train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
Thus, I became a passenger of the train—which is my life, by choosing to keep going and trust everything to God. Likewise, I also hope that those people that are undergoing quarantine or trying to fight the virus inside them will choose to be strong until life gets brighter again.
“Come here inside. The countdown for New Year will be starting in a while,” my sister told me.
I went back to reality, and I turned back to her with a smile and said, “Yes, I will, just a moment.”
I looked up at the night sky again and said to myself, “I will no longer find a home in other people because I am my own home.”