I don’t quite feel like myself. Whether it’s something looming in the air, the effects of isolation, or hormonal dips—I am unable to tell. But, I do know that I don’t feel like myself.
What is it you want, Aisha?
I don’t know.
What is it you need, Aisha?
I don’t know.
It’s like being a toddler all over again when all your emotions and emotional responses are explosive and severe, yet you don’t have the words for it. I cannot explain what I need, but I’ll know it when I receive it.
I tried the basics: I ate. I took a shower. I slept. I socialized at a healthy distance. Those things relieved this moment of restlessness temporarily.
I still couldn’t find the answer, so I began roaming in my house. I found myself in the kitchen, digging out onions and pulling for a knife. I diced those onions and found garlic. I pulled out gourmet tomatoes and found myself making ravioli. I hummed a mixture of Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” and Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and “Fix You.” While waiting for my water to boil and taking note of seasonings I needed to buy, I reflected on what these last few months were filled with.
March didn’t begin in fear from Covid-19 like I remembered. It began in love and promises and a new relationship. It transitioned into fear and ebbed and flowed in and out of guilt for not being productive enough (or being too productive), sleepiness, excessive eating paired with excessive regret, internal and external screaming, laughter (or insanity—I’m still not sure) and now here. Here is a place that I cannot figure out. I didn’t know my places in the previous months until I had left them. That’s what this is, maybe. A moment of wonder. A moment of desired newness and growth. A moment yearning for stimulation that comes from something other than what I have done. I won’t know until I leave it. I hope that when I reflect back on this moment, I find myself realizing that this wasn’t a moment of restlessness but the budding of something new.
This social distancing is not over, and the way the numbers are climbing, it doesn’t feel like it’ll be over for a while. In the meantime, I hope to find some peace within myself in the form of cooking, humming, and reflecting on love that exists even in the most chaotic of times.