I was lucky – I was able to get the first shot of Pfizer vaccine this morning because I’m an essential front line worker. It’s hard to believe that we’re staring down a year of this already. I remember it was around this time last year that things in the grocery world got crazy. As a manager, I can see this year’s sales versus last year’s, and already I’m seeing the numbers from last year starting to go up. I remember those first few weeks were absolute madness. I was working in two stores – my own, and helping at another one – and was often putting in 10-12 hour days between the two.
It’s funny to think that we’re living through such a historical event. I mean, for a lot of us xennials, there was the Berlin Wall coming down, the Challenger exploding, the Gulf War, Y2K, 9/11… but a lot of that didn’t effect us directly. We watched these things unfold on TV during our youth and early 20s, and with the exception of 9/11, we were too young to have a stake in the game. But now we’re all in our 30s and 40s and will someday sit back and watch a special on the History Channel about it remembering when we couldn’t get toilet paper or bleach and the supermarket shelves were bare of some of the most random things. (In case you were curious, there’s currently a bit of an aluminum shortage, and canned cat food is one of the things being affected.)
But coming up on the one year anniversary has me thinking about how much has changed over the past year.
I’m in a totally different place, professionally, and am embarking on a journey into coding. Mike is in a totally different field, and even in many respects has totally different hobbies than he did a year ago. Our roommate moved out, during a time when I was starting to think that he’d be living with us forever. We’ve grown and changed as a couple and really learned how to rely on and support each other.
My relationship with my family is different – I’ve been subtly putting up boundaries and because I did it slowly and carefully, everyone has become accustomed to the status quo. As such, my relationship with them is better thanks to some distance. I’ve got a better relationship with my mother-in-law (not that it was ever bad, don’t get me wrong). I’ve got better relationships with my friends as I stopped being many of their emotional crutches.
I’ve grown as a person. I’m more confident in myself and my abilities. I’ve proved that I can handle what’s thrown at me. I’ve proven it to everyone, and I’ve proven it to myself. You’d think that by this point in my life I’d have some self-confidence that I can do these things. But I honestly think it’s a product of my mental illnesses. For so many years because my mental health wasn’t good I failed at everything I tried. I learned the hard lesson of failure over and over again. It’s only in recent years, with some hiccups, that I’ve started to become sure of myself and my abilities.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned the hard way what areas I need to work on, but I’ve worked on them. And in the meantime discovered more areas that need some TLC. But I’ve also discovered new interests, new things I want to do and learn about. New things that I want to do.
So yeah, the last year might not have been good for everyone, but in a lot of ways, it’s been pretty good for me. I’ve had my stumbles and falls, sure. But I’ve come out of this better and stronger than I went into it.
That’s it for today. Stay safe, friends!