It has been a wild, yet often boring and lonely ride these last 16 months.
As much as I’d like to think I’ve grown in some areas, there is a reason to believe I have done the opposite in others.
My time management and ability to get things done within my job has definitely improved. Having little else to do other than focus on your work will have you finding ways to be more productive, which is a good thing.
I have also gotten better at reaching out to the people closest to me. I have always done this, but I definitely stepped it up during the pandemic because I wanted to ensure my friends and family were doing all right through all of this.
On the negative side, having so much time to myself has caused some serious internal conflict.
I often think of the late great chef Anthony Bourdain. To me, he was an example of someone living the dream. He was about as cultured and humble as it gets – knowledgeable, funny and seemingly in the prime of his life. When I heard he committed suicide in France back in 2018, I was so confused.
I was confused because for one, Bourdain lived the kind of life most of us only dream of. What his death showed to me is the power of mental health. Bourdain couldn’t escape his depression, and in the end, it killed him.
I mention Bourdain because when I get depressed, anxious or otherwise, I think about how sometimes, even people at the top aren’t always happy. You can have it all and still feel lonely and empty.
It makes me think that maybe instead of financial success and passport stamps, our personal relationships and how we help others are what help us fulfill a good life and leave a legacy.
To me, I know that I am finally doing what I am supposed to do, no matter how hard it sometimes feels. I get depressed when I see how much farther ahead many of the people I know are at the age of 29, but I am often reminded the journey of the alternate route is tough, until it isn’t.
My columns are often used as a public diary. I am constantly facing challenges, just like the rest of you. I always hope someone will read what I write and relate, and maybe find some words of encouragement.
We have all been through so much since the pandemic first hit nearly a year and a half ago. Many people didn’t make it. But we did.
There is a quote from Bourdain I often think of in times of confusion or uncertainty:
“Your body is not a temple – it is an amusement park, enjoy the ride.”
I am grateful to exist and to enjoy the ride, no matter how difficult life gets.