We are currently in quarantine for weeks longer than we thought we would be when we first heard about COVID. In theory, we always loved the idea of a week at home in our pajamas, some peace and quiet and not having to leave the house. I’ve been wearing the same clothes every week not because they are designer or the most fashionable but because they are the most comfortable. This time in quarantine has taught me that I fill up my closet with clothes each season because I think I need to have them but when I am given the option to wear whatever I want, those are the clothes that go unworn. The last few weeks have been a learning curve for all of us and we are adjusting to our new normal. There are a lot of negatives like grocery stores not having everything and more serious economic concerns but I try to think of the positives that have come out of this quarantine.
I go to bed and tell myself each night that everyone is where they need to be. This past Mother’s Day was difficult because I couldn’t see my mom but I know she is healthy and safe at home in North Carolina. A few weeks ago, a few family members and I started a book club that we do over Zoom on Sunday evenings. We laugh at each other because usually only one of us got all of the reading done but it’s a nice excuse to shower and dress in real clothes to catch up with everyone. I see more of my cousins who live just 20 minutes away on the Zoom call than I have all year because life was always so busy. For Mother’s Day, we have a Zoom tea party and got dressed up in our finest clothes and baked our own treats. That two hour long Zoom call was honestly more fun than if we had just gone out to breakfast. We are creating new memories and spending time with one another in ways that we normally wouldn’t.
I’ve been calling my parents more often to tell them about random things throughout the day. I’ll call if I see a squirrel in the backyard or if we have nice weather to get the conversation going and before long we spend a good amount of time on the phone going deeper. Before the conversations were about how work was and what mundane thing we did that day. We complained to each other when I would call my mom after work because they were easy things to share with one another because it was all surface level. Now I am sharing more with my parents and having deeper, more meaningful conversations. Long distance friendships can be some of your strongest friendships because there is like an unspoken rule that no matter how much time goes on, you can always pick up right where you left off. My friends who don’t live near my are often my biggest cheerleaders. It doesn’t matter how much you spend time with a friend but how strong the foundation of that friendship is. I’ve been thinking about friendships a lot recently because living in a city makes it difficult to find friends even though you are surrounded by people. But I do know that I can rely on friends I have had the longest because it’s never a competition of who cares more or spends the most time with you. It’s the people who value any time spent together or talking on the phone who who often have the strongest friendships because it’s not a competition.
A few weeks ago, my college roommates and I did a surprise Zoom call for one of the girls because it was her birthday. We said surprise and then stayed on the call for a long time just chatting and catching up. Our group text is being used to talk about funny memes and sharing Netflix recommendations. Since we have more free time, we are talking more than we have in the past which makes me so happy. It’s also nice to talk about our daily struggles and look for encouragement when needed.
Every week I will pick a friend I haven’t talked to in ages and just say hi. It’s a nice way to check in and start up a conversation with an old friend. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation but we usually make a promise to stay in touch more and make plans to do lunch once the quarantine is over. Just because we can’t leave the house doesn’t mean that we can’t talk with friends. I’m using this extra free time to talk with friends who may not live near me anymore and keep in touch with friends.
Another weird thing I have been doing is engaging with the people I follow on social media who I have never met. There are a few people on Instagram who are real people that I follow for inspiration and I’ve been making more of an effort to write positive comments and reply to their stories. It’s weird making friends in this age of social media and since we are all stuck at home why not start a conversation with someone on Instagram? I grew up with the rule to never talk to strangers especially on the internet, but I think this is the new way to make friends with people who have similar interests as you!