Felton: Finding balance in the pandemic

Lately, I’ve felt unbalanced. 

When we were shipped home last year I was happy to be welcomed back into my parent’s house and even fell in love with the neighbor boy. Everything felt good for a couple of weeks, yet I was slowly reminded why I left small-town Wyoming.

  The pink hair that sat on top of my head made the old-fashioned locals shoot distasteful looks and they’d scoff when they found out I was pursuing a liberal arts education. 

I was happy to be among my loved ones and if I lacked attention, company was just down the hall or a couple of houses down.

I wasn’t lonely, but lacked a sense of belonging and purpose. I wasn’t working toward any goals, but was so grateful to be surrounded by the ones I love.

I felt stuck in the middle.

I figured most of my problems would go away once I came back to school.

Now on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I wake up, work from home, attend a couple of Zoom classes and go to bed in my apartment in which I live alone. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I wake to do the same but sometimes I get the chance to see my peer’s faces, well at least their eyes.

I’m engaged in my classes, and I’m passionate about my work, but I lack the sense of companionship I had at home. 

Again, I feel stuck in the middle.

I feel good but not great, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful. It’s just no one wants to lay in a lukewarm bath, even though they’re getting clean.

I have great friends but the couple of hours we spend on the weekend doesn’t make up for the months of security I had at home. 

I don’t have the best of both worlds. I have two worlds, that are pretty great, don’t get me wrong, but worlds I have to fly a spaceship back and forth too whenever I’m missing parts of the other.

Maybe it is the side effect of this pandemic, but in all reality, something is always going to be missing.

I hesitate to say if we’ll ever feel entirely complete. Completeness doesn’t exist.

I’ll even be a bit controversial and say even religion can’t make you feel whole. The self-help books, the dream job, high stacks of wealth won’t offer it all.

As humans, we hyperfocus on making every aspect of our lives look together. We’ve been taught by that status quo this is how life should look and we don’t want others to catch when we start falling short.

It’s my last year at Augie. I’ll graduate, and maybe I’ll be closer to my loved ones, have my dream job and make enough money to spend a month in Europe every summer.

And say that all this were to happen, what else would I lack?

They’ll always be a missing puzzle piece that somehow gets shoved under the carpet, but not having it all at once is probably a good thing.

Maybe that missing puzzle piece is a corner piece, and the bigger picture still looks pretty good. Having 999 pieces out of 1000 still seems like a good accomplishment.

People should still set goals and work to better themselves, but when things aren’t working out the way they hoped its best to appreciate the things that are working out, in fact, they should immerse themselves in it. It’ll be a distraction until the world starts to spin back on its axis.

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