July 17, 2020

I Feel Like I Should Be Better at Quarantine—But I’m Not.

As I sit here alone in my home, feeling anxious after several months of a seemingly endless worldwide quarantine, I find myself continually thinking one thing:

I should be better at this.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot because today marks my 16th anniversary from my breast cancer diagnosis.

On this day, I began the long process of reconciling a new normal—a normal that was uncomfortable, uncertain, and without a tangible end date. Learning to live my life after breast cancer was a constant mental battle that was focused on one thing: submitting to the unknown.

Here’s the problem. Submitting to the unknown isn’t part of my genetic predisposition. I am a fixer, and I lack the ability to accept “what is” without trying to change it.

Believe me, I have tried to undo these character flaws of mine over the years. I really have. But as of late, I’ve chosen to enter a phase of acceptance for who I am instead of repeatedly wishing I were something different. It feels healthier. Except, well, during this worldwide quarantine when all I am thinking about are ways around this brick wall I keep running into.

Either way, the point is that I’ve been on this path before. I’ve faced the idea that I want things to be different but that right now they just aren’t. I’ve watched an unwelcome circumstance claim victory over my hard head. And I’ve experienced exhaustion over trying to make sense of something that just doesn’t make sense.

I should be better at this.

So why does this feel so hard?

It feels hard because it is hard. There are no shortcuts when learning to live in a situation that you didn’t choose. There is no fast track to get a better place. There is only time and the ability to see past what feels overwhelming today, trusting that tomorrow will bring better days. But there is no magic solution.

So, yeah, maybe I should be better at this. But I’m not.

And instead of beating myself up about that, I’m going to remind myself that 16 years ago, I wondered if this day, today, would ever come. And somehow, that perspective makes me feel just a little bit better and less alone.

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Leigh Hurst  |  Contribution: 120

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