I remember when I was 26 and going through a terrible break up, at a job I hated, and generally feeling like maybe life wasn’t supposed to work out the way I wanted it to. Or that I wasn’t supposed to be happy…like, maybe this is just how life is. I was talking to someone, and I kept asking why? Why is this happening to me? Why am I feeling this way? Why, why, why? He told me, “You can’t ask ‘why’ because you won’t always get an answer. The question you need to be asking is ‘what now?'”
I find myself asking “why” a lot now. Why is this virus here? Why do we have to be quarantined? Why do I feel so much anxiety about going out? Why do I feel so much anxiety about staying home? Why does literally every choice I make seem like there’s so much riding on it? Why does life feel so foreign right now? Why, why, why…
But, as I’m here, feeling all sorts of conflicting emotions, I’m reminded of the question I should be asking, “what now?”
I don’t know if I can answer that except with the cliche rhetoric of “one day at a time” which is still 100% how anyone will get through this, but let me offer one other very simple thing: smile. It’s physically hard to feel sadness while you’re smiling. And it’s also along the lines of “fake it til you make it” which is basically my motto of life right now.
I don’t know how or what I’m supposed to feel. I read an article saying this is a type of grief. It made a lot of sense. I don’t know how to get through this. No one does. I don’t understand the why. No one does.
Sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.
So we do all of the cliches until maybe one day it starts to make some sense.
Until then, I leave you with these song lyrics:
Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by if you smile through your fear and sorrow. Smile, and maybe tomorrow you’ll see the sun come shining through for you.
Light up your face with gladness. Hide every trace of sadness. Although a tear may be ever so near that’s the time you must keep on trying. Smile, what’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.