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Written By Aspen, – Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

This week many of us are wrapping up our ninth week of social and physical distancing and as several states reopen to jumpstart their economies, Miss Rona has made it clear that her world tour is still in full swing. For me, this week has been rather enlightening as I think about how to respond to the many uncertainties of life moving forward as medical professionals tell us one thing and then our state and federal government officials tell us something completely different. Zoom happy hours have lost their allure and drinking isn’t even fun anymore. I miss sitting on the couch geeking out about Twitter posts and outlandish Facebook videos but with my friends because it’s a completely different experience with other people compared to when I am alone. As I scroll through social media with this in mind, I constantly see “Roc Nation Brunch Twitter” telling me that if I am not starting a business right now I am not utilizing my time appropriately. This is coupled with my Instagram Explore page being filled with HIIT workouts that can be done with the aid of my couch in order to avoid the “Quarantine 15”.

Now to say that something about this doesn’t sit quite right with me doesn’t mean that I lack ambition or don’t care about my health. But I think it speaks the larger pervasive question of people constantly asking one another how they are spending their time. More importantly, they are judging others for not participating in these things when there are people dying in the world because we are literally in a pandemic. Now I don’t know about you all but this is certainly the first time I’ve ever experienced in my life so I really just set a personal standard of taking it day by day because who knows what tomorrow will bring. So to clarify, I applaud those of you with a more futuristic thinking pattern than me and I think now more than ever we need to celebrate the diversity in responses and be understanding rather than placing judgment on one another. 

At the same time, I think we need to be realistic with one another. There are 168 hours in any given week: before COVID-19, during, and although I’m not Raven Baxter I think this will also stand after we get a vaccine. Much like before, we are currently managing our time in a way that best works for our individual situations. For me, this looks like spending 40ish hours of my week working my 9-5 job because I clearly enjoy a world of chaos that includes crossing one thing off of my to-do list just to add two more (JK—in all seriousness I really enjoy my job so I don’t mind taking on extra responsibilities even if it means spending a little extra time here and there). So that leaves me with just under 120 hours. Well, a girl needs her rest so knock off 70 of those hours, and then we are working with 50 hours. 

I’ve found myself rather unmotivated during these past few weeks, perhaps because my workspace and my comfort zone (my apartment) have become one. Or maybe because the many students and coworkers that keep me laughing and energized I have not seen for over two months now and with them left my inspiration to write or craft (Facetime and Zoom just aren’t the same as in-person interactions and this is coming from an introvert). I find myself taking walks on this big, beautiful yet empty campus and engaging in yoga/stretching in order to move my body. Admittedly, the idea of “the Quarantine 15” did eat away at my brain for a hot a second at the beginning of this all but then I had to remember who I truly am (y’all really had me in the first half smh). I wasn’t doing intensive workouts before and I am not going to start for the sole reason that I am afraid of my body changing in response to a completely new experience. So I’ve found ways to continue to move my body but in a way that I enjoy and that relieves more stress for me than it causes such as if I’m worried I’m not doing an exercise right and then becoming hyper-aware on my shortcomings and/or get frustrated and give up. I’ve also found myself finding time to catch up on television and Oscar-winning movies that I have yet to see (I highly recommend watching Parasite if you have not yet – it’s available on Hulu right now!) and rediscovered the joy in cooking and the experiments that come with it. 

So, I guess that I say all of this to re-center myself and anyone reading this as we continue on in this uncertain hellscape. Even if things do start to reopen we do not actually know the outcome of a re-ignited economy with a deadly virus on the loose simultaneously (spoiler alert: it’s not looking good y’all). So as we are bored in the house and in the house bored, I remind you all to stay true to who you are. If you have talents that you want to sell then, by all means, do that (start and OnlyFans or Etsy shop!) but if you lack the energy or creativity needed to do that right now then that is ok too. If you are missing the gym and want to move your body in ways that you previously did by finding modified home versions then please explore those opportunities. But don’t feel like you need to start these habits now based on a fear of gaining weight (which speaks to a larger issue of fatphobia and the structural negative attitude and even violence towards large bodies — but I’ll save that conversation for a later date) if that is not something you felt compelled to do before all of this. In summary: Just be you and be great at that! 

P.S. I promise my next post won’t be about this pandemic y’all!

Aspen, Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

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