upside down && inside out

It has been a while, why yes it has. Why you ask? Because COVID fatigue is a real thing. I swear it. I have been so busy trying to find some sort of balance in this ever so dizzying world I just haven’t had the time to jot things down. Here and there I will pull up some notes, write down some blurbs and make a promise to compose it all soon. Just as soon as the promise is made, well I break it. Sit down, relax and let me capture all of Autumn in a couple paragraphs at best.

As you know, I am now currently residing in The Netherlands, it is a whimsical place full of Dinsneyesque buildings, open minded people and coffeeshops that do not in fact serve coffee. Over the summer I watched as the US was grappling with what to do with schools. There was a huge conversation about in person or online schooling, which is best for all those involved. Different cities and different districts made up their minds and made different decisions. I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief because I knew my Mom and my friends were teaching online, they were safe. But what about me?

There was no real conversation here, it was decided that in-person classes far outweigh the risks of online learning. I get it. We could host our tea times, set up the cafe, socialization and education. However, I every day I would arrive into school wearing my anxiety like a second skin I could not shed. I am the new kid on the block, my social circle is suffocatingly small. My entire social circle hinges on the edges of my classroom. Every day I walk into school thoughts are ricocheting in my mind. Will I be the super spreader? What if I have no symptoms and curse death upon people here? Is this a cough? Allergies? Am I sick, dying or dead? These thoughts were the norm, I was not an outlier. Every week we would plan one foot in the classroom and the other preparing to land in the land of virtual teaching.

We were standing on the razors edge of the precipice. News headlines were rolling in, case numbers were increasing, more and more people at school would test positive. I was always holding my breath, waiting to see when it would happen and then it did. Right before break, we were thrown. Schools would be going on holiday early, don’t plan on returning until January, maybe later. And so the transformation began, canceling of events, rushed goodbyes and out we went. Our fingers waving over the keyboard like magic wands setting up the circus tents, cutting out the side acts and focusing only on the main events. I beg you please, be kind to your teachers we are trying our best…

Friday afternoon came and went as our skeleton frame was set. I took my first COVID test. Negative. What a sigh of relief that was, if just for a moment…

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