~ APRIL 5, 2020 (I’m still sick)

So, today is April 5, 2020, and I’m feeling really sick but I’m very optimistic. This morning, I woke up and I felt great. I was listening to music and just enjoying my beautiful morning because the skies were literally so blue and pretty. AND the temperature was perfect. As time progressed, I started to feel worse. My ear started to feel bad and also I started feeling ACHEY. YES ACHEY. No, it’s not corona.. Well, I don’t think it is because, from the news and other organizations, I don’t feel like I have a fever or like I want to die. I feel normal besides my ear and headache. My mom says it’s my sinuses and I truly believe it’s JUST SINUS PROBLEMS.

On another note, I WAS DRIVING TODAY. This might seem like something really small but I actually don’t have my license and I’ve only driven a couple of times. And the times that I’ve driven, I’ve messed up so bad that the people swore on their life that they would never do it again. So, today was my “second” lesson of me actually driving a car and it was AMAZING. I drove my mom to the store and back. She said I did excellent and she rated me a 7, which in my opinion is VERY CUTE considering I haven’t really driven with her since I almost drove inside the apartment complex 5 years ago… Yeah, I was inches away from being inside. I honestly think that I’m a good driver and I can’t wait to get my license. I think this quarantine is forcing me to take control of my life. There is no excuse as why I can’t do my homework, learn a skill or get my license during this time. There’s nothing but TIME and opportunity. So, I think after this quarantine, I’ll have my license and a DEGREE. I’m staying optimistic because that’s all I know how to do, so if you see that my blogs are sounding dreary, call me out on my negativity.

As far as my sickness, I’m taking all the measures that I think I can take under the circumstances. It’s really hard because I’m afraid to go to the store for anything. Seeing people with masks and gloves on really freaks me out. I was talking to my friend today and I asked her, “Do you think we’ll ever go back to normal society?” She responded with no. This is the new normal and we’re all fucked.

Quarantine Goals During a Quarter-Life Crisis

During times of stress, it is important to remember that you cannot fix everything–and you shouldn’t try to. I’ve learned I need to remind myself to focus on what I can control. Right now, that list is pretty short.
So I have been trying to hyper focus on improving myself and my situation without burning out.

Here is a list of tasks and goals I’ve made for myself to stay mentally and physically healthy during stay-at-home orders.

  • “Don’t Break the Chain” This is a very simple premise for sticking to a task that you need to do very frequently, or creating a habit. You give yourself a minimum amount of work required, and cross off each day that you do it. It’s a way of keeping yourself accountable that’s pleasing your ‘money brain’, or most basic instincts. Jerry Sienfeld actually uses this method. I heard about it from charlieissocoollike. I have used this method to encourage myself to exercise with great success in the path. The trick is to choose firm parameters. “Eat healthy” is a lot more vague than “Eat a protein and vegetable for every meal three days a week—without any simple carbohydrates or sweets”. Recently, I have created three new Don’t Break the Chain sheets: Do 5 Proper Push-ups Each Day, Eat Low-Carb Three Days a Week, and Do 30 minutes of Creative Writing Each Week
  • Keeping in Touch with Family. I have a pretty atypical family. My mom has been married three times, so I have two much older half-brothers, my own father lives in south Florida, and a step-father who has now passed away, leaving my mom a widow. Because of this tumult, I am not as close to my family as I would like to be. So I have been working to stay in touch with them more–texting, sending silly videos over Snapchat, and video calling.
  • Updating My Resume and Finding a Job. Because I am a senior, I am in a specific position of vague panic. I am going to be graduating, painfully soon, into a world that is in chaos and probably headed towards a recession. But I am hopeful that I will be able to find at least a somewhat-stable job, perhaps one remotely, while the economy evens out. And then, eventually, I will be able to maneuver to a career I am passionate about. I have been told “it’s always easier to find a job when you have one”, so I am trying to use any and all connections through my place of work to have a steady income once I am no longer a student.
  • Prioritizing Creative Hobbies. I am far more jack-of-all-trades than master-of-one when it comes to making and appreciating art. I love reading, and have turned to audio books so that I can consume more content more easily while I multitask. Writing comes fairly naturally to me, but I am trying to become more disciplined about it. I also enjoy traditional drawing, painting, scratch-board art, and I have recently ventured in digital art. And this class has encouraged me to return to video editing, which is very enjoyable but immensely time consuming.
  • THE PURGE. Just kidding–this is what I call clearing out my closet and drawers. Since I will be moving out of my Oxford apartment, this will provide me with an excellent opportunity to go through my clothes and possessions and donate items I do not use anymore.

Where do we go now?

My mom texted me this morning and asked if I wanted to come to visit for Easter. Usually, I hate making decisions where I have to pick between two houses. This year I hate that much of that decision has been taken away from me. 

My parents are divorced. My mom lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and my dad lives in Memphis, TN. When the university shut down, I packed up what I could from my sorority house and drove the one hour to Memphis rather than the 12 hours to Pittsburgh. It seemed logical at the time. Yet, now I find myself wondering when I should see my mom. 

My mom, Tricia Tolivar, sent me this photo of a cake my nine-year-old sister, Lilly Tolivar, baked, and asked me if I would come and visit for Easter. Photo Credits: Tricia Tolivar

My parents have lived in separate states since I was nine years old. I had the privilege of being able to fly back and forth between their houses. I never had to wonder if that would be taken away either. In my mind, starting from a young age, there would always be a way for me to see my parents. Now, I find myself wondering if that is still true. 

I am hesitant to fly up to Pittsburgh, and more and more flights are getting canceled every day. I am also reluctant to get in my car and drive 12 hours. I know that I would have to stop for gas at different gas stations along the way. In addition, I’ve been staying with my dad, who is as I type this, at the hospital working. My stepdad just had heart surgery, so can I risk that? 

For me, right now, that is the problem. I feel like I have to put risk above feelings. I would like to see her, but at what cost? This inability to go home is not a problem just for divorced children or college students, but people everywhere. 

My mom told me the other day that she knows a family that was trying to immigrate to the United States. They had gotten all of their paperwork done and left Vietnam. When they got here, they weren’t allowed in the country. Instead, they were sent home. When they got back to Vietnam, they discovered that their community was not allowing anyone to enter if they had been out of the country. Technically, while only on airplanes, this family had been out of the country. They couldn’t come to the United States, and they couldn’t go back home, so where do they go? 

That question is a question that I feel like a lot of people are asking themselves at the moment. Where do we go now? Whether we ask ourselves that in a physical sense or we ask that in an emotional sense, where do we go now is a question on everyone’s mind. It comes because we are living in a world of uncertainty. It can be something simple like I need a haircut, but that is a non-essential business where do I go? It can be a larger question of I cannot pay my rent and may get evicted where do I go? It could even be a farther out question of I am a graduating senior, where will I get a job after all of this? Where will I go?

I don’t have any answers to these questions. I do feel like the uncertainty we are feeling now is also a lesson in empathy. Some people ask themselves these questions even when the world isn’t fraught with a pandemic. The hope is that even if the pandemic dies down that we won’t let the lessons in empathy be for nothing. That we will want to help people who aren’t just dying, that we will want to help the living too. – Ellie Greenberger 

– I woke up feeling SICK

This morning, I woke up feeling sick. I literally didn’t want to get out of bed. I have a sore throat, nasal congestion, and a headache. I also feel like my ears hurt. Of course, I started looking online researching the common symptoms and… I am having anxiety because I DON’T know what it could be. It could be seasonal allergies, common cold, or the infamous coronavirus. I was talking to my cousin today and she said something so ridiculous. She said she doesn’t think that this whole thing is REAL. Like hello??? As if thousands of people dying is a hoax. This is all too much for me. I think having nothing to do all day can cause you to say and do things that you “normally” wouldn’t do. For instance, I felt like I wanted to unblock this guy that I used to talk to. He was very toxic. He was living a double life and the relationship ended with me saying that if he ever contacted me ever again I would call the cops. After I had those thoughts today, I decided to start praying. My mom and I started reading the bible and I REALIZED that everything is going to be okay, in due time.