Its been over two weeks since my last real post, which isn’t something I intended to have happen. I was working on finishing up the post where I interviewed author Steven G. Williams so that it could finally be published. I was working on some other posts as well… and then I started feeling awful out of nowhere. I thought maybe it was just my sinuses or a cold because the weather in Florida has been slightly screwy and the day I started feeling like crap was the day after it had been a really warm and humid day, then the temperature was in like the 40s overnight and we didn’t have the heat on in the house. So that’s where my head was at… until my sense of smell and taste went. Turns out I had COVID, confirmed by an at home test.
I will spare everyone the gory details of the whole experience, but it was one of the worst experiences of my life. Honestly, even though I am fully vaccinated (minus the booster, which I wasn’t able to schedule before this happened), I thought COVID was going to kill me. Between the constant feeling of my throat being run through a paper shredder, the constant chest pain from all the coughing (I was waiting for my chest bones to break), and all the mucus that almost choked me, I wasn’t feeling confident I would survive. And what I had was considered a mild case of COVID, so I hate to think of just how bad the severe case would have been! I definitely believe that getting vaccinated is what prevented me from having a worse case of COVID and ending up in the hospital, or worse, dead. And you can definitely bet once I’m able to, I will be getting that booster shot. The thing I am most thankful about is that I managed not to get anyone around me sick. That was my biggest fear and I am very lucky and fortunate that no one else around me caught COVID.
As a loner and an introvert, I never thought isolation would be something that would bother me. Time alone with no one to bother me? Sign me up for that! … sounds great in theory until you’re forced to isolate from everyone you care about. Sounds great until you can’t even hug someone without worrying you’ll get them sick.
Everyone talks about the physical ramifications of getting COVID, but I feel like the mental ramifications aren’t talked about as much. And for me, the mental ones have been worse than the physical ones. Now that I’m not coughing as badly, my chest doesn’t hurt anymore and my throat doesn’t feel like it has been repeatedly run through a paper shredder. But all the fears, thoughts, and realizations that went through my head when I had COVID… I have yet to be able to shake any of those.
My biggest fear was that I would die before seeing everyone I loved again. Dying alone is definitely one of my biggest fears because dying alone seems so cold and sad, but dying surrounded by people who love you feels like a more peaceful and warm way to go. But almost everyone I love is in Pennsylvania and I’m here in Florida… and during the time I had COVID, that distance felt a lot longer than ever before. As hard as it was for me, I can only imagine how rough it was for my mom and dad to know I was sick and that there was nothing they could do, but text me on a daily basis to see if I was doing any better.
One of the biggest thoughts I had was that if I died, that was it. Every goal, every hope and dream and idea I had for my life would be gone just like that and I would be leaving nothing behind but grieving family and friends. The stories I have inside of me would die with me, never to be shared with the world. I would never get to be a wife or mother or grandmother. I would have never gotten to see England or anywhere else I want to travel. I would have died with so much unfinished business that there is no doubt I would be a ghost (depending on whether or not you believe in ghosts, an afterlife, etc).
This might be really weird to say, but I’m sure by now everyone has realized that I am weird (and proud of it), but having COVID was the kick in the ass I needed to realize that the time to start my life is NOW. That the time to work on my novel is NOW. That the time to take risks and put myself and my writing out there is NOW. And it made me realize that I don’t have anymore time for things that don’t make me happy or bring me closer to my goals, or for people who want to bring me down and make me feel like I’m not good enough for (insert thing I’m not good enough for here). Right now I am the youngest I’ll ever be and the oldest I’ve ever been. Right now I am at an age where this is still so much life and opportunity before me and there is nothing holding me back from those two things except for myself… and I don’t have time to hold myself back anymore. And I don’t have time to be apologetic for who I am, what I believe in, and for putting what matters to me most above everything else.
Maybe this seems overdramatic or absolutely bonkers to some people. Maybe some people will read this and they’ll understand where I’m coming from. Maybe it’ll be a bit of both. Who knows? All I know is that I’m ready to hit the ground running and put every ounce of myself into making my goals a reality. I am going to be a successful writer. I am going to be a wife and mother and grandmother. And most importantly- I am going to try my damndest to be happy and be myself even if it pisses other people off. Because there is no guarantee that any of us will rise with the sun, and I don’t want to be left with a huge pile of unfinished business and unreached goals. That isn’t how I want to live the rest of my life. And I hope it isn’t how anyone else wants to live the rest of their life either.