Editor’s note: Some information may have changed since the time of this story’s completion.
Like so many Generation Zer’s and millennials, I deal with feelings of stagnation in my life all the time. And on top of that, I’m a Capricorn ♑♑♑. So, if I’m not moving-in my head-I’m losing. The global pandemic that is COVID-19 has forced me to really think. To think about what I want in life and why I want it.
Money, happiness, peace, progress, season two of Euphoria… these are things that I and many other Generation Z’s and millennials, want right now. We want to feel good all the time. We want to make strides in our career, social lives, and personal lives all at once, and all on the same day. We crave, and are in some ways conditioned to need instant gratification. If we aren’t seeing growth or rewards, we believe we are losing.
If we aren’t moving at a specific pace, we believe we are stagnant. And nothing amplifies or increases these feelings like a nation-wide pandemic that forces you to stay in one spot. Cue the Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that has taken hold of the world and is highly contagious. Symptoms include a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and/or trouble breathing. Typically, older people and those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to catching this virus. Although many people believe the virus started in China, some news sources disagree.
According to the South China Morning Post, “A “strange pneumonia” was circulating in northern Italy as long ago as November, weeks before doctors were made aware of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.”
Regardless of where the virus started, everyone is being affected by it. Many of us don’t know what to feel or do. Some people look at this pandemic as a set-back and some as a set-up. Some people feel extremely stagnant, while others don’t. I spoke with three different Generation Z’ers and millennials about this pandemic and how it is affecting feelings of stagnation in their lives.
Who: Annabelle Emuze
Profession: First year law student at Howard University
Initially, the stay-at-home policy that many states have been forced to adhere to was therapeutic and dare I say enjoyable for Annabelle.
“As a law student, we are always on go, always pushing ourselves and always studying 24/7. Sometime staying up 48 hours, literally, to get stuff done. So, it forced myself and I know other people as well to just slow down and take a step back,” said Emuze.
However, as time went on she realized that her school life was being impacted in a less than desirable way by the stay-at-home order.
“My school moved to online learning for the remainder of our spring semester. So me I’m one of the people that really enjoy being in law school and really enjoy going to school and going to the library and being in class and having like that full law school experience. But moving to online learning definitely changed that completely and it changed what being a law student looks like ” she said.
As someone who operates well on drive and being able to “just go.” Annabelle has been dealing with feelings of stagnation due to the virus.
“Everything being on pause for a moment definitely increases feelings of stagnation because there is nothing that I’m driving at anymore, for now.”
Despite the craziness the virus is causing, Annabelle makes in effort to stay in touch with her family, friends and classmates. She defines herself as woman of faith and knows that “in the end everything will be ok.”
Who: Victor Law
Profession: NBA Basketball player for the Orlando Magic
Starting things off on a positive note, one of the first things NBA player Victor Law said to me in our interview was, “This isn’t something that I would necessarily asked for but I’m happy I was able to come home and have people that I could be around.”
Trying to stay positive throughout this pandemic is what Law is focusing on. Between reading, starting an investment portfolio and staying active Law is doing his best to stay busy and upbeat during this time.
Like so many of us, Law is dealing with feelings of stagnation. As a basketball player his line of work was immediately halted when the pandemic began.
“I can’t go to a gym and workout, can’t shoot.. And obviously I’m not even in Florida anymore,” he said.
At the end of the day, Law knows this is something we are all adjusting to. Instead of being down about,it he is accepting the situation for what it is and doing what he can to stay in the right headspace.
Who: Melvin Knight
Photo by: Elijah Harris
Melvin Knight never thought COVID-19 was a hoax. However, he didn’t think it’d hit this fast or this hard.
“I just never thought it would hit here. I never thought it would be like this,” said Knight.
When asked if this pandemic has helped him or increased feelings of stagnation in his life Melvin had a lot to say.
“So much of our mentality about entrepreneurship or creativity is colored by the culture around us that tells us that if we’re not constantly producing something than our time is not valuable and that what we’re doing isn’t important and that’s a whole bunch of B.S,” he said.
Melvin completely repels the notion that creatives need to be creating all the time especially in amidst a global health pandemic. He is focused on connecting with himself and doesn’t associate not creating with feelings of stagnation.
He’s reading, learning new skills, hanging out with his roommates and keeping in touch with his family. He mostly feels he is becoming mentally stronger than he was before this started.
In the end, everything will be ok. Because even when it doesn’t seem like it or feel like it the Universe values balance. The bad will eventually be balanced out by good. Pain with relief and bondage with freedom. So, breathe because like all things… this too shall pass.
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