Quarantine Induced Thoughts

Image by Bruno Zero.

Now more than ever, the thoughts about going out to eat at a restaurant or taking the simple visit to the mall increases by the day and it physically hurts to think about Shake Shack burgers.

Quarantine has induced so many thoughts, thoughts that have never touched my brain in the past before and if they have, they left within a matter of seconds before I went on to focus on something else like that test I really should study for; the annoying screaming coming from the hallway; the memory of the old man at the subway station playing another Elvis song; how good Harry Styles looked that day; or the debate of where the weekend plans with my friends would take place. 

Now, I think about the way the drive home is always much faster than the drive to your destination. The way that people telling me they like my hair down only increases my desire to cut it all off. How I’ve been recently craving to learn trapeze and run away with the circus. The easiness of falling into the sad hole of nostalgia with no desire to get out. How the world could be, and the world we’re gonna make.

The people that I’m never gonna see ever again and the people I’ve yet to meet. How laughing with my friends was my favorite sound, how our arguments were theirs, and how we’ve come to absolutely hate the sound of whining and unrealistic planning. The decades of years that await for my arrival– each day getting closer to the next. Will I ever find the secret to love? What’s the real price of emotion? What will be the best years of my life? Have they already passed? 

I’ve rewatched The Office for the third time since quarantine started and have made over a dozen different playlists for each different mood I find myself in. I’ve done a lot of realizing, like the difference between listening to music while you’re doing something and just flat out laying in bed solely listening to music. You pick up different things and songs appear to have different meanings depending on what mood you’re listening to it in and what you choose to focus on that day. Is the lyric a metaphor or meant to be taken literally– both producing extremely contrasting definitions.

I’ve picked up a lot of things, too.

I’ve picked up the way my mother’s new favorite word seems to be honey and how each time she calls for me it seems to be something different following the word: Honey fox, Honey bunny, Honey face, Honey pot, Honey pie, Honey baby, and lot’s more like that.

I’ve picked up the way I’ve never felt more love for New York than now and have come to appreciate the city for what it is. Maybe it’s the way I’ve put a lot of thought into moving away and the things that I’ll come to miss or maybe it’s just the way I’ve taken it for granted all these years.

I’ve picked up on the way we all seem to be teachers in life and we teach by either living or slowly dying. I’ve picked up the way the moon will sometimes illuminate my room and the peace that it brings with it and the way rain always seems to make the apartment more homey until you remember that you’re nowhere near the comforting patterns that you’re used to during this pandemic. I hated being in the rain, but now all I wish is be outside and dance with it.

Most of all, I’ve picked up the way everything really does have an affect on how life seems to shape and form you into the individual we all become in the end. Every little moment, every experience, the time period, the people you meet, the people you didn’t meet, your parents, your friends, your teachers, your life. No matter how much you think you have in common with someone, your lives will never be the same and nor will your person. 

There’s some things you’ll never come to understand. Some people you’ll only have the pleasure to meet once and never again. Some dreams that you’ll just have to reform because of the circumstances you find yourself in. Some plans that never seem to happen or the way they turn out differently than what you envisioned.

A quarantine that seems like it’s never going to end or the way it has made you think about the world and life you thought you knew. And, of course the way human interaction and emotion have impacted your routine in far more ways than you ever thought. 

These thoughts are only the beginning. Yeah, quarantine really sucks, but it has induced more thoughts than I’ve ever had in my lifetime and ultimately, thoughts that have me perceiving life in a completely different way, in a way that I probably would’ve never been able to perceive if it weren’t for being stuck at home for over a month and having nothing but my mind to wander for hours. And I wonder what other places it’ll wander to and the destinations where others have arrived. 

– by Johanna Paulino ’20