By: Gabriela Yareliz
Do I choose eggs or life? I started off the morning debating whether it was worth risking my livelihood to get eggs at a NYC grocery store. It’s not. You see, I am a vegetarian, and I avoid dairy, but I do eat eggs on occasion. Not often. But sometimes. There are seasons where there is not a single egg in my house for weeks at a time.
I have been eating some of the eggs in my stash like a wolf in a children’s story lately, and as I have seen the number diminish, I seriously weighed going out to get some. Unnecessary. I am gonna be vegan ‘til Easter, ha. I want to live until Easter, at least.
The numbers of COVID-19 cases keep rising, and I don’t want to set foot in a grocery store. Sitting there wiping each container and box with a Clorox wipe in my entryway makes me sad. (And I actually like to clean. You can call me Monica).
I think those of us who come from a background of trauma and loss like to feel that false sense of security. You know, the extra soap, the overpaying a credit card and ending up with a “credit”, and that extra set of eggs— you know, in case the apocalypse. Don’t worry guys, I didn’t go crazy getting toilet paper, but thinking about it— it’s probably the same principle. The root is fear of lack. Anyway, no extra eggs. All is good here.
I ate a peaches n’ cream oatmeal (like the ones we used to eat when we were kids), and I was “linked” on LinkedIn to a high school mentor. He was the coordinator of our program. He always holds a special place in my heart. He was sort of like a father figure to me in that difficult time. I had a lot of deep conversations with that faculty member. Very adult conversations about loss, values and resilience. I am sure no one else had a clue or cared, at that time. But while many around me were consumed with their boyfriends, sex, drama and the future, I was still very much trying to find meaning in who I was in the present. Having someone who listened meant the world. LinkedIn, you haven’t linked me to a better person. It made my day.
This time has forced a lot of us to really weigh what it is that we care about. It has bewildered me that people acknowledge the meaning or value of certain things now, as if they had never done so. (Better now than never). Maybe my way of living is heavy, or that background of loss has instilled this in me, but I like to think life is solemn, every day.
When I say goodbye to someone, every day, I know that it may be the last time. I am grateful for every single rent payment, every single grocery haul, every single “got home” text, every single plus I get to buy for myself. Every day. I don’t think I realized how many people don’t live like that, until now. (Maybe that’s naive. Maybe their existence is lighter).
Today, I got some lovely news of an engagement. It’s beautiful to see in these times that there are people who do know. They know what they value, they know life is so fleeting, they know that each moment is a gift, and we may not get the next.
I hope every person living through this solitary hell realizes what they value, what they are grateful for, what they want, and the many, many gifts we receive along the way.
Knowing these solemn truths of life is worth more than diamonds.