This is all going to sound a little fatalistic and dark, but I assure you, it is coming from the most enlightened part of my heart.
With shelter-in-place orders all throughout the world, we see our routines, our days, and our lives change. Things we took for granted, such as a completely stocked grocery store, are gone. Our favorite restaurants are only doing take-out, movies we looked forward to have been rescheduled, and countless other little things (and big things) have changed.
As a t-girl, I am used to being
a little on guard when I go out, but this is a new level of fear and cautiousness. If someone coughs at the store our thoughts and fears jump to thinking they have COVID-19. We think twice before putting our hands on a shopping cart.
Many aspects of our lives are on indefinite hold. It used to be easier to look forward to the next time we could hit the town en femme because we knew when that day was coming, whether it was that afternoon or next Saturday night. But these days it’s a lot more up in the air as to when we can paint the town red. Or pink, in our case.
Most days I find myself daydreaming what Hannah will do once things get less scary. I want to do photo shoots, see the MN T-Girls, go shopping, and a million other things. But I also think about the things that I didn’t do, or make time for before all of this happened.
Here’s where it gets dark, I suppose.
The last thing anyone wants to do is look back on their life with any regret. I do not want to be on my deathbed and think about all the things I wanted to do, but didn’t. Either because I didn’t make time for it or because I was afraid to do so. There are things I wish I said (or didn’t say) to people I have known, and I would have made things right if I had known it was the last time I would ever see them. We think we have time to do all the things we want to do, or the things we should do.
But life, of course, has other plans. Time doesn’t really care what we want to do. We are not going to be given more days or more opportunities to do the things we want to do that we keep putting off. And of course, none of us know how much time we have.
Today we all get the same 24 hours. What will we do with it? There are things I must do, things I want to do, and things that I would like to do. I have plans. A to-do list. But at the end of the day (literally, in this case), I will be in bed, about to fall asleep, as I look back on the day. What went well? What didn’t? What didn’t I get to do that I had planned to do, or wanted to do? What will I hope to make time for tomorrow?
Laying in bed at the end of the day, when all the screens are off, when the world is quiet, is when we realize that despite everything happening outside, that is the moment when we remember that our world is completely rooted in who we are. All we have at the end of the day is ourselves and what we do and who we are.
The world isn’t an uncaring place (for the most part), but the world doesn’t care about what we want or what we want to do. The world expects us to do these things for ourselves. We are not going to be given more time to do what we want. We either do it or we don’t. Sure, your boss may give you one more day to finish your quarterly report but the world isn’t going to give you another week to do the things you keep putting off.
I went to Target last week to get some essentials (I promise) and I walked by the dress display (of course I did) and I saw a really cute dress. It’s not uncommon for me to look at a dress or an outfit and fall in love with it and decide that I could never wear it, for a variety of reasons.
This dress in particular had thin spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline. I usually avoid dresses with thin straps like this as they show more of my shoulders than I would like. I have pretty broad shoulders and I think I look very… male in dresses like this.
As I picked up a few groceries I thought about the dress (of course I did) and I wished I had the body for a dress like it. And then I realized it’s not about my body, it’s about my thinking. There’s no reason I can’t wear this. I don’t care what anyone thinks about how I look, and if I feel and look amazing in it, that’s all that matters. If a dress fits, you can wear it.
My thoughts drifted into the days before this pandemic. I thought about the things I had planned before those plans needed to be put on hold. I thought about the things I wanted to do. I realized that I was looking back on those days with a little regret that I didn’t do them.
I don’t want to hold myself back. If there’s something I want to do, if there is something I want to wear, then I need to do it. Who knows how much time we have? Who knows when something like this happens again? I don’t want to look back on the day, a lifetime, and wish I had done something. I can do it now.
Well, not NOW, but you know what I mean.
I bought the dress.
And you should too. But maybe it’s not this dress, it might be another dress, it might be that makeover you’ve been dreaming about, the stilettos that you can’t stop thinking of, the conversations you want to have.
No matter what happens in 24 hours, at the end of the day all we have is who we are. We have our dreams, our fears, our deepest desires.
I have these things too. But now I have these things, plus a leopard print dress.