Updated: Aug 29, 2020
Most days I feel “in control” just because I have clearly delineated next steps mapped-out in calendars and organizers. Without this illusion of command, it seems we would simply collapse and be unable to function in a reality that otherwise is impossible to predict. Our calendars and plans are full of intentions to fulfill certain activities and goals within a certain timeline. Of course, the pandemic has swiftly shattered this illusion, stalling plans, and putting our lives in a seeming suspense. The only clear future is that of uncertainty: we can predict certain scenarios based on statistical models with lots of educated assumptions, but the only certainty is that of an inability to plot out every single future outcome of our lives and our society. Not being able to predict with certainty our future creates a sense - a certainty - of a lack of control which makes us frustrated and anxious. It does not take long to feel afraid and fearful.
I remember the highly shielded times of my childhood and youth when my parents, especially my mother, had all sorts of plans laid out for me; a future career in Accounting and other very safe (and terribly boring) options. I am grateful for my curious, passionate, and determined nature to have defeated the trained self who would have accepted my parent’s decisions and other societal mandates. It was not easy to rebel and follow more subversive career paths and choices than those expected of me. The alternative route was full of opportunities to feel uncertain - a voluntary state of uncertainty - and, with it, afraid. But, I can say with total confidence that every time I have taken a step that created a sense of insecurity in my otherwise predicted path, I have grown: I have learnt a lot from myself and from the kindred spirits that I found along my path. I have learnt that being comfortable with uncertainty is not only healthy, so we can grow other talents, other skills, or other relations, but also more realistic to how life truly is. Perhaps finding ways to voluntarily feel uncertain can build our wisdom for when reality throws us a curve-ball, like that of this pandemic crisis.
Earlier this week, my article Waiting for this to end: “My Pandemic Days” project, about my recent mixed media work inspired by the early days of the pandemic, was published in the blog/magazine “The Pandemic Lens”. Check it out at: https://pandemiclens.com/2020/08/10/waiting-for-this-to-end-my-pandemic-days-project/
Image: Detail from "Pandemic Days" project, mixed media, 24 x 50 inches. Available for purchase. If you are interested in this or other paintings please contact me here.