When will my life begin?

Remember that first song from Tangled where Rapunzel sweeps, polishes, waxes, & does laundry within 15 minutes of waking up then proceeds to read, paint, play guitar, knit, cook, puzzle, paper mache, dance ballet, make candles, and sew a dress while locked up inside?

And she lives in the Kingdom of Corona! Art could not imitate life better than this.

Over and over Rapunzel wonders, “When will my life begin?” Have you been asking the same? It’s been more than a month of lockdown now and at least in NY, we’re scheduled to be in lockdown for a month longer. Does this current state of life feel like life to you, or does it feel like a long comma, a pause?

I’m trying to remember what I used to care about before all this. Identifying my purpose. Asking others how they found theirs. Writing more. Being known for writing more. Focusing on one project at a time for optimal growth and a better “brand.” Building my personal brand to find more success. Making plans.

As soon as the lockdown started I did not reach to any of these pursuits or ideas for comfort. I looked for the novelty and freedom to learn and be completely bad at things without any obligation. Hobbies that I’ve wanted to devote more time to, like weaving and drawing and watercolor, took over my days outside of work. I resisted any pressure to be consistent—with this newsletter, for example—if it didn’t feel enjoyable.

Any fear I had of coronavirus has now shifted into my fear of life in transition, post-lockdown. We desperately need our lives to go back to “normal”, certainly for our health and for our financial livelihood. But will we really be willing to convene after this, or will the anxieties around human proximity linger? Many of us have adjusted to a life of less busyness. How soon will we slide back into busying our lives? Will we busy ourselves even more to compensate for our capital loss during this time?

Rapunzel’s time spent locked up in the castle was, of course, still “life.” So is our time now in lockdown. It’s strangely felt liberating to know that this current life has always been a possibility. Plans and goals can always go awry and we continue to survive. I continue to be a human worthy of existing and happy about the life I’m living. It doesn’t matter whether I live up to a consistent personal brand or make sense to someone through a photo grid. It doesn’t matter what identities I embody on any given day.

The same goes for you. This is life as much as your life two months ago was life. You are yourself as much as your self from two months ago was yourself. You are ever-changing in your identities and circumstances. You are resilient beyond your fear. 🧡