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Doing Nothing Again - Thoughts about the COVID-19 Pandemic (May, 2020)

Updated: May 9

I am usually a positive person. But today, I am really angry.

I woke up feeling as though everyone and everything I love has been ripped away from me. And there is no end in sight. No sell-by date. No words of wisdom. Just the hollow sound of political windbags (of both persuasions) jabbering in an echo-chamber and telling us that they know what’s best. They don’t. They have NO CLUE what is best, and they don’t care what I need.

The latest blow? “You don’t get to go camping this summer. Oops. Sorry. It’s for your own good.”

“Stay home. Save lives.” = “Stay trapped. Don’t cry.” Oh, and “don’t accidentally kill someone today.” WTH? Seriously!?! Which brilliant marketer thought THAT quirky catch phrase was OK to put on the radio?

I remember when I was in 3rd grade, I suddenly had an epiphany that I was not your "normal" kiddo. I hated school, even though I excelled at it. Straight A's truly meant nothing to me. My reasons for disliking school had nothing to do with my kind-hearted teachers or even the subject matter, but it had everything to do with the confinements. Sit down. Shut up. Take out your workbook and turn to page 26. Do what we want you to do, and we’ll give you a scratch n’ sniff sticker. I had a huge collection of those things. I tried to convince myself that collecting enough scratch n’ sniff stickers made the monotony somehow permissible.

Meanwhile, my creative soul was dying to be outside jumping and twirling, and running and dancing and laughing. I wanted to make things, and draw things, and build things, and learn....yes learn. But not from a workbook. I wanted to connect with people and understand them. I wanted to feel the wind in my hair and the cool splash of the swimming pool. I wanted to read chapter books, but not the ones that they told me I had to. I remember thinking, “Who the hell decided that THIS book was the one that had merit? There are so many that are so much better!”

I remember seeing my teacher’s face while she was sitting behind her desk and the class was all “working.” She looked so sad.

I gazed out of those smudged, flip-up type windows, half covered in taped-up school projects at the large grassy field. I would have given anything to have been able to grab my teacher’s hand and run out the classroom door and lay on our backs in that field amidst the dandelions. I knew in my heart that she wanted to do that, too.

Over the years, I aced my tests while only half listening to my (very well meaning) many teachers drone on and on since little Jimmy still didn't get it. I played by the rules, while inside my heart felt like a bird trapped in a tiny cage, flapping madly until all of my feathers fell off.

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