Before I left New York City, I committed 30 days to saying goodbye. I made sure to grab meals with friends; drank coffee with soon-to-be former co-workers; stopped by my usual cafes and bars to say goodbye as a regular; visited the places I always said I would; threw myself a party (which was lovely); and gave myself a farewell to my routine, history, and groundwork of the place I called home.
Last Friday, I moved my stuff from Los Angeles. I had already been living away for the past however many weeks, to be closer to family in the midst of Covid19. But I left behind much of my things for the rather abrupt departure and with the promise that once things "settle down," I could resume my life in LA. Clearly, as all of us have been watching/reading the news, things are getting... not better. So I drove back, packed the rest of my apartment, and said goodbye to what has been my home for almost four years. So very different than my farewell to NYC.
I've been describing the timeline of Covid19 with friends through the romantic/dating analogy of an orbital situationship you're still invested in. Meaning, the terms aren't define and you're not sure if there's any closure because nothing has been defined, and because you get an occasional bit of news, you're still hopeful. So even as you try to make decisions, you can't have as much closure as you'd like because you are making decisions with incomplete data. But you're still pressed to want to make the "right" decision. As a research nerd, I would say that your conjectures aren't sufficiently significant based on the information you have. And as a research nerd, these hilarious analogies have helped me understand why getting "closure" during Covid19 is so hard: because we just don't know.
I don't know the next time I'll be in LA. I don't know the next time I will get to see my friends. I don't know when the situation of Covid19 will get "better." And I don't know how we'll recover either. I don't know anything. And yet, the world is still moving and decisions still need to be made. And as someone who loves knowledge and information, this ambiguity and the slow diminishing of hope, alongside the very real fears of the safety of loved ones and our failing safety nets, exacerbates the anxiety and tensions of decision-making.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be close to my family-- one that I recognize not everyone has. I am grateful I could move, was able to borrow my parent's car to make the drive and load up my things. Equally, I am thankful I can work from home and that my housing management graciously cancelled my contract. I am thankful and yet, also disappointed in how this chapter is closing. But not closed of course. I will return and have my proper farewell with ALL the Ktown foods, ALL the coastal highway drives, and ALL the things I didn't get to do this time around. I will get the closure I want; I just don't know when.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).