March of 2021 was absurd.
I can’t wait for certain aspects of quarantine to end. Of course there are parts I wouldn’t leave, but, my goodness quarantine has been lonely. I’m privileged enough to have access to a sturdy support system and a grassroots service-based career. So, I have people — and a gang of things to be grateful for. Quarantining has brought me beautiful moments of sleeping in excessively, chronic overeating, vegging out on series I had no business watching, and showing up to unplanned collective pajama days at work. Yet, still, I feel a looming sense of loneliness.
Is it weird to say, “I miss strangers”?
Because I do.
March marked one year in quarantine. Now, group events are officially a thing of the past; there are students who have only ever experienced distanced learning; and, photos of the blissful early days of quarantine are showing up as “memories” on my social media timelines. Concerts, festivals, and live shows are all hosted virtually. And, sure. I know those are all bad for Our environment and that hosting them virtually is actually better for the world. But, when can people go back to dancing in the streets together? Are people still having concerts off of their balconies for each other? Will strangers ever meet in real life again?
Shoot, I’d even settle for just seeing other strangers. Today, walking through a parking lot feels like navigating through a minefield of potentially COVID-infected bombs. Eye-contact is a luxury. Offering to bring someone’s cart in for them is shameful, and dangerous, and inconsiderate. Building community with strangers in those precious random moments of life has practically vanished.
Virtually created spaces aren’t filling the void like they used to. I miss being with people — my people. My people that randomly find me along the way of life, and understand me within a given moment and without additional context.
And, the world being in the month of March didn’t help either.
It’s normal for the intersectional stressors that come with being a Black woman to preemptively wake me up. But, 2021’s Women’s Herstory Month (“WHM”) has been absolutely exhausting. Everything in this quarantine time tastes different. This year there’s no time to joyously celebrate fem-bodied persons! We have far too much work to do — far too much oppression we’re still facing.
I spent the month celebrating Women’s Herstory by speaking out about gender-based violence, what about you?
It’s a special, disturbing type of depression when celebrating the uniqueness of women must include discussions around violence, and trauma, and oppression. When it wouldn’t be honest, genuine, nor complete to move through WHM without highlighting the epidemic of violence committed against women. It’s no coincidence We have Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Asian American/Pacific Islander History Months consecutively.
But, a month of background social media posts isn’t enough. Too often it feels like we’re separated from our allies by entire oceans. Our voices feel like whispers, our acts of allyship feel futile, our persistence — irrelevant. There’s never enough culturally curated curriculum in schools; never enough representation in Our society; and, never enough access delegated to historically underrepresented and intentionally neglected communities.
Quarantine has made the feelings of being seen, being safe, being a part of something bigger that much more difficult. March of 2021 was its own beast- filled with abhorrent attacks on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. At the same time, April is beginning within the context of the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
I’ll be praying for truth and the abolishment of White supremacy.
Until next time —