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On Finding Happiness during a Period of Unknowns

The world around us right now is a blur of unknowns, questions, concerns (& lots of hand sanitizer) but amidst all this craziness I've realized something about myself: I'm genuinely happy. 

I can only hope that this post doesn't come off as being insensitive because I'm right there with everyone else in that I'm scared of what's happening and have a constant fear of the unknown, but these past few weeks have given me clarity about a lot of things and helped me realize what makes me genuinely happy.


I like being around people. Whether it's my college roommates, my student teaching classroom filled with my sweet students, or an afternoon coffee date with my little, I just enjoy the company of others. So this period of quarantine and sheltering at home was a bit of an adjustment for me, as I'm sure it was for most of you, too.

I'm home in Ohio with my family now and have been for the last three weeks and although I'm surrounded by them, I've spent a lot of time by myself lately. Whether it's in my room watching Netflix or when I go for my daily runs, I've had a lot of time to be alone with my thoughts.

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The first week or so after everything started to get really serious and the fear of the unknown began to settle in, I was upset. I was in Hilton Head with my family yet I was devasted that the rest of my junior year of college was going to be completed remotely and online, I was heartbroken that I wouldn't get to say goodbye to the 50 fourth-grade students that I had spent the last eight weeks getting to work with, and was trying to process the idea that life as I knew it was slowly starting to change.

Driving home from Hilton Head, we stopped by USC so I could pack up the things from my apartment that I needed for the rest of the semester and for the summer. It was hard to leave my apartment knowing that I won't be back for five months, and it was bittersweet realizing that the next time I'll be back it will be for my senior year.

During the 12-hour car ride home, I had a lot of time to try to process all the changes going on in my life. Overwhelmed is an understatement to describe how I was feeling by the time we made it back to Columbus. 


I went to bed that night extremely anxious and woke up the next morning feeling anxious. So I decided to go for a run that afternoon. Running has always been my way of escaping reality and has also been my way to reduce my anxiety. 

During my run that afternoon, I began to see things differently. Maybe it was the endorphins that caused my shift in thinking, but I began to see things in a more positive light.

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It started with me realizing that I would get to run through the streets of my hometown (one of my favorite things) for the next five months instead of a treadmill in a crowded gym. A simple thing, but a happy thing nonetheless. 

Social distancing and being away from my friends and loved ones (that aren't my mom, dad, and younger brother) is hard, but this distancing has made me realize who my real ones are. My real friends are the ones that sent me text messages asking "you gonna be ok?" when I was having a hard time adjusting to all the changes and "thinking about you and your family" and "hoping all is well with your grandfather" and even the joking ones in response to my hyper Snapchat stories that said, "how's quarantine going over there?" 


Those text messages put the biggest smile on my face because it showed me that those people genuinely wanted to know how I was doing. They took time out of worrying about themselves and their loved ones to check on me and my loved ones. That means a lot to me. Y'all know who you are, thank you, I appreciate you more than I can express in this blog post. 

It's the friends that will meet me during my runs to walk with me, even if it means walking on opposite sides of the street. It's the friends that encourage me to bake cookies for them just so I can get out of the house for 15 minutes and leave them on their porches for them. It's the friends that encourage me to keep making TikTok dance videos, regardless of how horrendous of a dancer I am. With friends like this, I've been able to find happiness and positivity in this chapter of unknowns.

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I've found happiness and comfort in being home. I'm arguably one of the biggest homebodies you'll meet so being home during this time has been such a blessing. I've found happiness in getting to spend time with my little brother every day. I'm happy because I get to see the sunset from my bedroom window every evening again, something I love during the summer months and now get to enjoy more often. I'm happy because I got to sit at my desk and watch (through the window) my 6-year-old neighbor learn to ride her bike without training wheels and see how excited she was when she finally got it.

I'm scared and worried about our world, but I'm learning to find happiness in the little moments. It took slowing down my life, my routines, and my mind for me to realize that even though I was scared, I didn't need to let that consume me and that I had so many things that make me happy. 

xoxo,
Ri

2 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing such a positive message during this time. I think we all need to be reminded to appreciate this distance in some regard!

    xo,
    Bailey
    baileysbulletin.blogspot.com

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  2. I have definitely had to have a growth mindset during this trying time. I am learning day by day to keep it all in perspective and realize how blessed my family and I are. I love you, Ri, and I am proud of your positive outlook when things are so crazy for everyone!

    Love,
    Aunt Beckye
    rblack012070@gmail.com

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