GIRL I’m confident I speak for YOU and ME when I say we’ve ALL had THAT moment. You know, the one that still haunts you a year later? That last “normal” pre-COVID moment…
For me, it was exactly one year ago today – March 10th 2020.
It was a Tuesday night and I had tickets for an up close and personal album release party in Midtown Manhattan with 50 of Lauv’s other greatest fans. Within arms length of my favorite musician, I sang and danced my heart out that night as he sang, chatted, and autographed his latest merch and album How I’m Feeling. And even though he reluctantly cancelled the meet and greet portion of the evening (due to the rumored whispers of this thing called “COVID-19”) I was anything but disappointed. In fact, I vividly remember walking through Time Square with my gal Isabella and confidently saying to her “these are the New York nights you dream of when you move to this city…”
Needless to say, it was a dream come true kind of experience. But the high would only last so long…or until the city shut down completely just two days later.
Little did I know that night was the last time I’d hear live music or attend an event with 50 people squeezed so close together you can feel the sweat of the girl next to you. Little did I know it was the last time I’d see a friend other than my partner in person for months. I had no clue it was the last time I’d take the subway across boroughs (or at all) for the next 6 months. HECK I had no idea it would be the last time I’d take the train mask-less, and the last time I’d leave the house for anything other than essentials .
I was so naïve then…
Over the weeks and months to follow, Lauv’s How I’m Feeling album truly took on a new meaning in my life. Yes, I continued to sing and dance my heart out to those same songs, but alone. And this time they hit different than they did THAT night. And though March 2020 me would have likely thought otherwise, I’m okay with that.
Because GIRL….without the past year, THIS version of me RIGHT NOW wouldn’t exist.
THIS version of me finds so much more meaning and memory in those songs, in that night, in the city, in the train, in my relationships, in…well…EVERYTHING! THIS version of me finds joy in small things. THIS version of me is fierce in her pursuit of happiness for herself and her community. THIS version of me looks, sounds, and acts different.
She’s evolved…and I love her.
In those early, unknowing, dark days of this global pandemic, I grieved the old me. And I promised going forward to be a version of me that spread positivity rather than sorrow. I promised myself I would look back and be PROUD a year later. And though I never dreamed THIS is where we’d be exactly one year later, I wouldn’t trade this version of me for the world.
GIRL my point here is simple…Though we may not have control over our circumstances, we still have a choice. We can choose to be controlled or take control. We can live in the negativity, unknowing, and sadness OR we can take control of our emotions and find hope and joy in the small things. And though it may not be easy, a promise a year later you will thank yourself for it!
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who is Rachel?
Rachel K. Grim is the Brooklyn New York based blogger, speaker, and empowerHER behind the event series and online community Ditch the Clique. In 2019 Rachel launched Ditch the Clique to empower REAL women of all ages, races, sizes, and careers with goal-getting resources to live the life they dream! When she’s not scheming new ways to grow the Ditch the Clique COMMUNITY, Rachel can be found eating and shopping her way through New York City, traveling abroad, or watching binge-worthy reality television (with a glass of prosecco in hand, of course)!
Follow Rachel @rachelkgrim