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Staring Into The Moonlight: A Monologue On My Shifting World. (Essay)

Dreams… abundant when I was young, often paralyzing – either extravagant or otherworldly. Decades after, now that I am 30 years old, dreams are rare and often significant. They returned when the pandemic started enveloping the world around me. I am captivated with history but there is a sense of panic knowing that the scrolls of my current generation’s greatest events, written at this moment. It is unquestionably eerie and glim… and I am often optimistic, a true realist but always hopeful. This is different.

It hit akin to a crescendo of tremor with no known epicenter on where the pain, chaos, and confusion is whirring from, and everyone seems to have received it from all angles.

All of a sudden, I am standing at a standstill while the news pour on. Lockdowns, postponements, cancelled flights, quarantines, and distancing measures. The impact absolutely felt while the degree of it still unknown, perchance never but undeniably felt. I recall the first few days as cascading wave of emotions and it never plateaued. Therefore, I was at a persistent state of fight or flight.

The early days of the pandemic sure felt like the Earth stood still, rather than news on humankind exploring Mars or going back to the Moon, the universe around us stopped expanding. Most if not all were compelled to stay indoors – it became claustrophobic, whether you live in a small hut or a glass-pane mansion. As everyone around me were trying to catch their breath and manage their circadian rhythm, I for once felt, at least for a longtime, able to breathe. To close your eyes, to inhale and exhale is one exercise that people around the world started to share when the pandemic started. Believe me.

Even when millions are glued to their screens and watching Netflix shows, we all shared instance of tranquility, amidst the brewing chaos.

Going back to the early days of the pandemic, around the start of March 2020. There was an increasing sense of pandemonium on the horizon.

It almost traverse the world of fiction, wherein this moment on Earth seems to exist in a hellish parallel universe.

You can feel it but it is scarcely palpable, almost ignorant to some extent, to the point of utter in denial. I work in social services that deals with mental health and severe disabilities; there is really no option not to show up. We have to show up. I have to be at work. I take pride of my profession. Days leading up to the lockdown, the roads seems ordinary. By each day, the volume of traffic is lesser. Thus, each day before the lockdown, I am 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes early for work. It dawned on me, something is not right. There is some unnerving atmosphere, unexplainable sensation to conventional days. Without the mere expectation that in a few days, the world around me would stand still and shift.

Growing up in the Philippines, I am deeply immerse in Catholicism and I will be the first one to admit that since moving to Canada, uprooting an old life to a completely new world kept me mostly on edge.

This prove to be an irrefutable discordance from something that is so innately part of me. It chalked up a hidden devastation that masked the sadness. This monumental change brought about immense effects on my mental health and overall well-being. When you adapt to a new culture, you tend to be on an adrenaline-driven mode from the time you set foot at the airport to your everyday life.

I tend to relate this phenomenon with Archimedes’ principle of Displacement, it occurs when an object is submerged in a fluid, pushing the liquid out of the way and taking its place.

When you acclimate to a new country and as you absorb a new ethos, there will be things from your past that would be displaced.

This principle also talks about floatation and it is a perfect metaphor of acclimatization, wherein you try adjusting and staying above board at the same time.