The silence can be loud.

Loud enough to make you wake up sweating, trying to recount and decode the crazy dream you had.

Or, it can be warm and inviting.

Cleansing you and enveloping you in a space that seems like home.

I’ve experienced both versions of silence during this quarantine. Each one tells me something different.

The loud side is scary, but that’s because its forcing me to come to terms with things that I’ve woven into schoolwork, part-time jobs and other people. With the absence of all of those, there is nothing left to hide behind. It’s almost like I’m sitting on the couch, watching a montage of everything in my mind on my tv screen. I can’t find the remote to turn it off and each time I try to turn down the volume, it only increases.

The warm side is comforting. Instead of the montage that gets louder and won’t shut off, it’s the blanket that is draped over my legs as I’m curled up. No, this isn’t a security blanket reference because it isn’t stifling anything. It’s giving me the assurance that silence can be refreshing. Being on the go and always having my mind in five places at once, is exhausting. This silence is renewal. It lets me know that it’s okay to not think about anything and just melt into myself.

The contrast between the increased decibels and soothing warmth works. Similar to the yin and yang, one cannot work without the other. They give rise to each other and allow me to flow in and out of them with ease.

So I’ve been listening. I’ve plucked those pieces away and I’m slowly but surely tending to each one. I’m being careful to make sure that I balance working through these things and remaining uplifted. The worst part of quarantine is feeling trapped inside my house and I don’t want to feel trapped in my mind.

When I’m not deciphering my thoughts or diving deeper into my spiritual journey and self-identity, I’m doing puzzles and re-creating Pinterest paintings. I’m having my roommate teach me how to cook plantains (hush, I know it’s as simple as dropping them in oil but I still wanted the firsthand lesson). I’m trying to create but as I’ve seen other creatives say, don’t ever force it or feel obligated at this time.

As far as human interaction…The daily phone calls with friends and virtual sessions are comforting, reminiscent of when we did those things face to face. The isolation is a gift and a curse. After a while, I want human interaction but on the other hand, I’m finding a little bit of goodness in being alone. I really wish I had a porch or a deck to turn to when the house feels like it’s closing in.

So if you are drowning in your thoughts, trying to perfect a cheesecake recipe or cleaning the baseboards for the seventh time, I send my thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

Bottom line, do whatever you want to do during this time. Rest, heal, think, cook, get high, etc. Even with reading my post, do not feel obligated to go on a deep thinking journey. Don’t let rise and grind twitter force you into turning $5 into $500. My lovely mentor spoke a great word about this on her Instagram story, @mjboddie. Please go listen and follow her too, she’s super dope. If you want to invest and map out a business plan, do that. If you need to take time to rest and then tap back in or really just rest, do that too. Don’t let outside pressures and social media convince you that you aren’t doing enough and don’t make others feel bad because you feel as though they aren’t doing enough.

So in the words of SZA, straight from the song that healed so many of us, I’m taking it day by day. We’ve got nothing but time…

In the words of vic,

See yall at the post-corona cookout, for now…hang in there.

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