What’s been happening in the past month
Wow… It’s been about a month since my previous blog post. I don’t know how so much time has managed to pass. I’ve written short notes here and there for possible blog posts; things I wanted to share. But somehow I either didn’t find the time or the motivation to sit down behind my laptop and write.
Up until Thursday I was in St. Barth. After coming back from Egypt in late January, I spend the past six weeks with my siblings. At different moments they each passed through St. Barth on their way to Europe. Once my siblings were back in Europe and I got some me-time for a few days, my mom came back home and brought my grandma with her.
For my grandma, it was her first time in the Caribbean. She stayed for almost three weeks, really getting to observe and enjoy the way we live here. While she’s 80-years-old, she said she’d be back next year for round two.
With people coming and going and starting numerous new work projects, I felt little creative motivation to write at the end of my days. If I did have a creative brainwave, I spend it no drawing and writing out life-related ideas in my journal. But in all honesty, most evenings were spend on the couch either reading or doing absolutely nothing. This felt good. It felt necessary.
But here I am again. Feeling the writing motivation, even if it is just writing about the lack thereof and some life-updates. To be fair, this also qualifies under blogging.
It feels like a lot has happened in the past week and a half.
Last week Thursday my mom and brother decided that for my brother to come back to St. Barth in order to work both on personal and work-related things together. Three days later we picked him up at the airport. Sunday through Thursday were filled with intense and beautiful conversations about life, as well as working on the early phases of new work projects. For me it also included packing.
Why pack? On Thursday (March 12th), after having spend all morning on the phone with the Dutch authorities to get a grip on some basic travel information, I headed to the United States. Around 10:45AM I took the boat from St. Barth to St. Maarten, followed by a flight to Philadelphia and then Washington D.C., where, 12-hours later, I got picked up by my boyfriend’s mom and sister.
This weekend was his graduation ceremony and I had planned to be here on a somewhat extended layover while on my way to The Netherlands.
While not a bad situation at all, my travel and life plans have now been changed. People are aware of the COVID-19. It seems to be everywhere and a lot of strong measures are taken in order to contain it wherever present. On Thursday, a travel ban from EU-flights to the US was announced and imposed the next day. Over the course of the past few days, large parts of Europe have started to shut down, closing all but the necessary shops and public spaces.
This evening I am supposed to be on a flight from Washington D.C. to Amsterdam. But I won’t be traveling. Not because my flight got cancelled or because I needed to stay in the US. Rather, the reason I am staying put where I am, just like the rest of my family who are all in different places, is to attempt helping the world.
There are reasons for why society has imposed a “shut-down” and has asked people to stay home unless necessary. COVID-19 isn’t necessarily a threat to everyone, but it is to those with lower immune-systems or the elderly, and I feel no need to participate in the demise of others. I can easily stay put somewhere for three weeks. My life won’t end.
I probably shouldn’t even have gone to the US.
I won’t lie, initially I was quite torn. I probably shouldn’t even have gone to the US last Thursday, knowing that there was already somewhat of a risk. But the selfish part of me wanted to see my boyfriend and his graduation ceremony. I hadn’t seen him for 4.5 months.
But then this past weekend I had to decide whether to stay in the US or to fly out to The Netherlands on Monday. A part of me wanted to go so that I could see my dad. We don’t really know much about his timeline, himself included, as he feels no symptoms but yet the tumor seems to be growing. After a family group-call-meeting we collectively decided that, unless travel was absolutely necessary (which it currently isn’t), we should stay put where we are.
So here I am, staying at my boyfriend’s parents’ house for the next three weeks (at least). I am lucky to be able to stay here in a place that also feels like home and have the opportunity to work remotely. I realize not everyone is in a similar situation and I’m very grateful for mine.
Here in the US, or at least where I am (outside of Washington DC), people seem only semi-affected by the COVID-19. Supermarkets do have empty aisles, but nothing near what I’ve seen on the European news. It feels like, slowly, there are less and less people outside, but I can’t say for certain. My only input is also the base I am on, I’m unsure what it is like in other cities near me.
I’m trying to see the positive in this situation and use it to my advantage to really spend time focussing on both my work-work and personal-work. I can’t put it off by leaving the house and so I’m often confronted by my own habits and behaviors. It’s been a good confrontation for me. Not just to work on my own things but also to plan less. The circumstances of the world don’t really allow for concrete plans, except possibly video chats, so I get to, somewhat involuntarily, but yet positively, work on myself.
I realise this blog post has been mainly just a blob of my thoughts and little simple life updates, but thats life too. It’s not always crazy adventures or wild stories. Often it is just life happening. But sharing it feels good and positive. I’m hoping people can recognise bits and pieces of themselves and maybe we can this way all feel a bit more of the human connection.
More content coming your way soon (sooner than a month from now) because I love writing and I am working on actively working towards my goals (of which one is blogging)!