I was angry yet now am settling into a resigned acceptance of something I cannot fix.

I have always been self employed, self reliant, and enjoy the independence of not having to rely on others for my way in life (there is, however, a dependence I have on the healthy relationships in life, like my family and my friends, and or course my dermatologist).

With this new world of self isolation and physical distancing comes a lifestyle that runs counter to everything that makes me tick. I find myself fighting a sense of exasperation and indignation at being held hostage to this situation. My inability to control what was my normal has made me feel incompetent: recognizing that this was becoming my waking thought and the last reflection of my day, I have determined to take back my world.

Besides the practical things implemented such as to-do lists, exercising regularly, and communicating more with people, I have taken a step back to observe all that I am so very blessed with.

Over the course of my many years I, like everyone else, have made friends, some nearby and some far. Friends come and go, and with that dynamic comes the recognition that some are here for a short time, a longer time, and the o-so-enduring ones. All are of value no matter their place in my journey: each one enriches my life’s experiences and have brought me to the place I am today.

I realize that this is a time friends are of utmost importance. It is quite a phenomenon to observe if you take a step back to watch: the friends that one collects over time is being sifted. Now that the wheels are coming off so-to-speak, some are disappearing in to their own fears and caves, other friends  are consistently and stubbornly present, the ones that just do not go away no matter what, and then there are the surprises. My awareness has become acutely tuned to this marvel of friends in differing stages of anger or angst.

It is strange to find that we are all going through the same thing and we are all needing support and reassurances simultaneously, yet differently. And, while a common human inclination might be to retreat, take shelter, or insulate from the outside influences or troubles, I am discovering that so many friends, including  new or rediscovered ones, are exposing their insecurities: they share their feelings and emotions, which are as intense and apprehensive as my own. There is an exchange of varying fears and beliefs and of difficulties being faced. Where once there might have been a sense to privacy, there is a network, a community being built, and the connections cemented are stronger and more meaningful than ever before.

The world of the unknown that we are all watching unfold in front of our fraught eyes will eventually ease, one way or another. Maybe it is a new world that we will be forced to adapt to, or it will simply be resolved through new science, but no matter, I believe it will forever be changed. On the other side of this life-changing event, I believe that my friendships will be stronger, much more transparent, forthright yet compassionate.

My friends in anger and/or angst are my saving grace, and for them all, I am most grateful.



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