April starts tomorrow. We’re looking towards it with a sense of foreboding. We feel our questions bubbling up inside of us like we’re a soda can and we’ve been shaken.
We fear we might explode. We feel that every outlet and every coping mechanism that we’ve counted on for years has been taken from us and we understand why, cognitively, but we are asking ourselves: can I be okay without it all?
What if April is an exact replica of the past 17 days? What if we’re stuck here, the virus worsens, I lose my job, or I get evicted because I already lost my job and unemployment is alarmingly high?
What if the economy takes decades to recover? What if my kids don’t return to school for the rest of the academic year? What if I can’t hug my friends until summer?
The questions swell within us, they press in behind every thought and interaction we have with ourselves and each other.
The questions are in us. But they are not us.
Uncertainty is at the door and it is ringing the damn doorbell. We decide on a daily basis whether to open the door or not, and honestly, it’s exhausting either way. We ask ourselves: will I open the door without a bra, without washing my face, without good manners? Or will I put actual clothes on, take a shower, and show up to the door to guard my home from the thoughts that won’t stop knocking?
Damned if I know.
It feels like the walls are closing in on us but the entire universe may actually be opening up within us. We start to notice our little salvations: the cat wedging herself between the blinds and the window. The cherry blossoms winking against the clouded sky. Kisses in the morning and sticky kid hands helping with household tasks. Inner restlessness abating as we sleep through the night for the first time in a long time.
Perhaps we aren’t the questions. Perhaps we’re the bright spring green of leaves where droplets perch regally after a rain. Perhaps we’re the mystery of the sun’s rise and set.
We may just be every breath of stubborn, hopeful resistance that floods our lungs. We are: no matter what is on the other side of that door and no matter how I choose to face it, we can make it through.
The questions are rising in us. But they aren’t us.