I saw something this morning written by a student in my daughters 2021 Senior class. He stated, "What if your senior year was washed out by a pandemic? (ha ha) Oh, wait."
I admired the wit. And then instantly my feelings of sadness rushed back in.
Like the rest of the globe I have been thinking a lot about this whole pandemic. I am trying to wrap my head around it and I feel different daily. The tremendous loss, the confusion, the unknowns, the financial crisis, the fears, the conspiracies, the list goes on and on. I have felt all of the feelings; anger, rage, confusion, disbelief, peaceful, strong, weak, disappointment. Numb.
I have always understood myself to be an optimistic person. I don't know how I got to be that way, but I do know that at a very young age and all throughout my adolescence my mom would say, " find the positives in everything." I suppose I took her advise a time or two and, It worked. Somehow it stuck. I love the saying,
"If you go looking for the negative, you will always find it."
Well, that being the case, if you look for the positives you will find those too.
Mind you, this pandemic has challenged me like no other. Also, here, I recognize and will add, along with pandemic (as if that is not enough in itself) we are also facing civil upset, economic crisis, political chaos, California is on fire again. We as a nation are in a complete divide, it is truly sickening. Lately, I have had to work a little harder to remain positive.
We are faced with a lot right now, it is so heavy. All of which I know will pass. It will, it must. The thing that I find myself most sad about right now is that our daughters senior year is essentially a wash. Or is it? Now, when I really look back at it was my senior year all that great? I mean, it didn't define me or have any importance on the outcome of the rest of my years. But still, you wait 11 years to get to this point. You work up to it. Your senior year is the ONLY glory year. Last year on campus. You are finally the 'top dog' the 'Big man on campus'. You earned it. Your teen years are so full of feelings of being an underdog, unnoticed and having to fight your way to the top. And gone. Just like that.
We have spent the past months adjusting and accepting this reality. Now it is time to move on. If I am finding the positives here this is what I can come up with. This situation sucks no doubt about it. But what a great life lesson...there are so many lessons in this. What a true gift of character building this experience has to offer? What are you going to do about it? You are going to be handed all sorts of sucky things in life. Life WILL disappoint you. Shit is thrown your way. Things don't go as planned. Hardly ever. It is not what you had dreamt about. Not what you want. Sometimes life gives you shit you think you can't handle and guess what, you handle it. And often it turns out better.
So, this is where you are seniors. This is what life has handed you. A bunch of lemons. What are you going to do with them. That is the real question. My advice, HIJACK your senior year! This is where 'the rubber meets the road' so to speak. This is where you get to find out what you are made of.
For every action, there is a reaction. So, you can't go on campus. Your senior year is different. What CAN you do?
For our daughter, she has talked about traveling around the U.S and camping out of a van. Go. Do that. Why wait, the time has shown up. Take your school on the road. She was going to wait to do that on a summer while in college. Why wait? The time is now. Get the wifi and hit the road babe.
Go outside. Get into nature. Do the thing you have always wanted to do. Make a connection with someone who you always wanted to meet but felt too shy. Get a job to gain experience. Learn to drive. Sports! Run. Walk. Surf. Begin a social distance support group. Meet at the beach. The park. Help someone. Get creative. Do random acts of kindness. Start a vlog. Start a blog.
I know you've got school and need to be attached to a computer for a great portion of the day. You still have school work pilling up, do it outside. Do it at a local coffee shop. But, plan your next adventure in between. Give yourself something (anything) to look forward too. Reach out to people in need. Send a freaking letter, hand written and all. Find a pen pal and send them a letter via snail mail. I am willing to bet that when the a letter arrives, it will make your day. Reach out to relatives that you don't often get to see. Begin a tradition with your family. Sit around the dinner table without phones and talk to one another. Ask questions. Build something. Learn a craft. Start a business. There is all sorts of ways to start a business without a lot of money. Create things, sell them on Etsy. Do your work. Get it done. But also, create fun. Take the constraints you are faced with and bend them to work for you.
Change your perspective.
Perhaps, look at it like this..
Why is this happening TO me?
Try, How is this happening FOR me.
What can you do with these lemons?
I hope you make lemonade.