Rising Voices Award winner badge.

A new routine during quarantine

Sep 3, 2020 7:13 PM

Photo Essays

Most days of the week, I have to be up at 9 a.m. I used to have to be at school by eight, and that was late for me. I once had (almost) no problem getting up at six, but now, I find it difficult to be up half an hour before I have class or meetings. I wake up, and I’m mad that I’m awake. I usually have prided myself on being a morning person, but since quarantine, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

When I am able to get out of bed with motivation, I’ll often try to eat breakfast. It can range from cereal to homemade arepas, but more often than not it’s accompanied with whatever show I’ve been rewatching recently. Lately, it’s been “Friends,” and while it hasn’t aged the best for the modern age, it still has a place in my heart.

On the days that I want to feel like a human being, I often try getting dressed. However, the fact that I’m not going out anywhere does not make me want to try more wild fashion choices. Why wear jeans and one of the cute new blouses I bought online when I can just throw on a comfortable maxi skirt and a t-shirt?

One way in which I do feel like I’m being adventurous is with my makeup. I’ve spent the last several years trying to imitate what I see as the standard for beauty, even though a lot of it didn’t really feel like it suited me. So, over the last few months, I’ve been picking apart my makeup routine and figuring out what I like. Instead of applying heavy layers of concealer, using only the smallest amount. I’m doing more “out there” looks and taking risks that pay off.

The most comforting way that I can spend my time nowadays is with my guitar. I have two, one acoustic and one electric, as well as a ukulele, but I gravitate towards my acoustic. Often, I don’t really practice technique or learn new songs — I just play what’s on my mind. It’s like therapy with lyrics and not just words, or writing in a diary without picking up a pen. I can sing about happiness and loneliness and feel both.

Before high school, my whole life revolved around books. There was nothing that I loved more than reading a good book. But over the last few years, I’ve felt this lack of motivation to sit and read. During quarantine, I’ve been trying to change that feeling. Just going on the porch and sitting on the hammock with the sun and “The Count of Monte Cristo” is enough to make me feel at home again.

Trying new things is scary for me. Mostly because I expect to be good at everything I do the first time off. So, when I think about practicing skating, it’s hard. I’m not the most athletic person, but skating is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. So, when I get the motivation, I'll grab my longboard and practice. Thankfully, I’m too cautious to ever fall over.

By the end of each day, there’s always the same feeling. This sort of existential dread for the contained daily routine is tiring. But I know that there are things I can do to feel like a person again.