I had a conversation with my best friend Johanna yesterday because I felt an overwhelming sense of dread. It finally hit me that I was currently in furlough from my full-time job and that this quarantine might last longer than I expected. All of Vegas is hurting. All of my friends are hurting. I am hurting.
Everyone is alone together. And a lot of people are living in fear right now. Even my family members don’t want to go to the grocery stores or see each other. It’s so unprecedented, unexpected and unpredictable. All of this is really hard, emotionally, mentally and financially. I felt helpless and useless. I felt like I wasn’t in control. And for someone like me who is always in control of my life, all of this is super uncomfortable.
Johanna told me that I’m feeling uncomfortable and uneasy in quarantine simply because I’m not being myself. I embody the busy working girl, the hustler. The “boss bitch” (in her words, but honestly I don’t feel like a boss bitch most days… just feel like I’m working too hard for my goals, but it makes me happy to work hard). Before shit hit the fan in Vegas, I had three to four events each week, photoshoots on the weekends or weeknights, friendly dates, my full time job, and work when I got home. I was BUSY.
And now, I’m not as busy. But I’m trying to occupy my time with community outreach projects, influencer partnerships, learning how to shoot self portraits, writing, cooking, working with local businesses to help them stay afloat, making TikToks, and rediscovering myself. I’m hoping that once everything returns to my version of normal, that I can learn to keep my balance of self-care and hard-working hustle.
Adjusting to this new normal where I don’t have full control over my life has really messed me up. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. This pandemic is making a lot of people uncomfortable. It’s displacing a lot of us. But I would rather deal with being stuck at home than being a frontliner or first responder. That’s so much harder. I have plenty of friends who work in healthcare and they’re struggling even more than those of us who are stuck at home. That’s why I felt so uncomfortable with not being able to do anything about any of this, with not being able to physically help my community. So I decided to do the most I can from my position at home.
If I come out of this quarantine without having accomplished anything, then that’s 45 to 60 days wasted. Yes, I’m sad that I’m not working full time, I’m not able to execute my travel plans, and I’m not seeing my friends… Everything has been pushed back. I’m in a physical stand-still but I’m not stuck. I keep reminding myself this every single day. I can continue working on myself and other projects that will benefit my future. I need to plan for longevity.
I’ve started interior design projects for my apartment and realizing that doing that in a rental space can be difficult. I’ve started buying more plants. I bought more decor for my living room, and I’m planning my gallery wall for the dining room. I’m getting peel and stick backsplashes to spruce up my kitchen and planning where I can place my cello and guitar that I’ll be renting soon. Quarantine might suck for everyone but we have to find the positive in the situation. We’re in this together. The whole city of Las Vegas is in this together. And we’ll come out of this #VegasStronger.
Shot by Juju in February 2018.