The year 2020 has turned into a whole new world that no one asked for, in an unpleasant manner that no one wanted. As a collective society, we have turned into a weary repetition of the past and an awfully complicated history class for the future.

This morning, I woke up and remembered how long it has been since we were all advised (and then coerced by law) to remain secluded. When I kissed my mother good morning and bent my knees to snuggle into her, and when I raised myself on my toes to engulf my father in a hug, I understood the importance of connection in my life.

It truly has been months since I’ve embraced my friends or even stood in the same space as them. It’s not a coincidence that I’ve been feeling mentally distanced from them too. I feel myself hesitating at times when I would normally turn to them for guidance. I feel vulnerable. I sense myself wanting to dissociate at times, and it’s a terrifying feeling. 

When I feel the bond between me and them withering sometimes, I tell myself to look at all the things I still have. Even though I don’t see them in person, I’m still connected to my friends in one way or another. The group chats still ping often, and I’m incredibly grateful for the lovely messages that make me grin. It doesn’t matter that the texts themselves are mostly nonsensical and only occasionally funny, because every time my phone lights up, I’m reminded that I’m not alone. And when the phone remains quiet, I find myself reaching over on my own, sending a silly message or a meme to make sure they also know I’m here for them.

My friends and family whom I remain connected with are like a lamp that casts light into a dark road that I’m walking on. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I keep on walking, because my lamp glows as bright as ever.