Yesterday I stepped out into the sun with a light jacket after a tough winter (and an excruciating year), and all things considered, I felt really good. With more joy than I knew what to do with, I put on some of my favorite springtime records, went for a long walk, and sat on a polished marble bench on the cove where I opened up my Drafts app to finish (and send!) the abandoned check-ins and messages to friends and then-new acquaintances I couldn't commit to sending throughout the past year-plus.
I've refrained from writing publicly (or semi-publicly, since I don't often share my blog), about the pandemic as its been ongoing, but woof. It's been a miserable year getting news of personal losses, broad institutional failures, and brutally-public violence, all while personally dealing with occasional bouts of crushing loneliness inside the quiet walls of my small apartment, feeling powerless to do anything useful, or even to attempt to revive all the relationships I had left to languish.
I got through most days pretty well, relatively speaking, and with all privileges considered. I think I'm generally well equipped to handle solitude, and I enjoy living alone. But every once in a while, I'd stumble into a day where I'd manage to text two ex-girlfriends and wind up with arms wrapped tightly around a pillow, getting emotional to Star Trek.
Yesterday was different, though. I felt lighter in a way that felt richer and purer than the effects from comforts I manufactured as coping mechanisms for the past year. I was feeling optimistic, and for the first time in so long that I didn't even recognize the sensation at first. Upon returning from my walk, I saw a Hank Green video which shared a similar sentiment. It's been a crushing, desolate, lonely, terrifying season, and not just from a planetary perspective. But things are getting brighter, and it feels like spring is finally coming.