I rediscovered myself during the pandemic

Exodis Ward, Entertainment Editor

It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic for me to return to my hobbies, but it did. My first love has always been reading because there is literally a word for everything. Cadence is for the rhythm they create. Mull is for when they stick in your brain, long after you’ve read them.

Personally, I love to analyze word choice because the same word can mean different things. Diction and connotation can change a whole text if one decides to dig deeper into its intended meaning. Even synonyms have minute differences when it comes to self-expression(Somewhere, some high school English teacher is jumping up and down in excitement. You’re welcome.) 

It’s a shame that I fell into the humdrum beat of life. I have a tendency to focus so much on my future that I forget to enjoy the moment. I’m not alone. Pew Research Center did a study that found that 60% of adults felt they were sometimes too busy to enjoy life, while 12% said they felt like this all the time. Compound a pandemic on top of that and it’s no wonder that I was feeling burnt out. 

The turmoil of 2020 left me feeling a bit hollow and looking for a distraction, so I picked up a book. It turned out to be just what I needed. The American Heart Association News released an article on the benefits of pandemic hobbies and the number one benefit was lowered stress. The second benefit was improved mood and lowered heart rates. I can agree with both of those statements. Outside was still a messy dumpster fire, but at least I had the next few chapters of my book to look forward to before bed. It’s the little things that made the biggest difference for me 

Lately, I’ve read some good books that have reignited that inspirational flame. I admit it: I’m a huge nerd, but good author makes me to want to create. Once I’m done creating, I want to do more. According to AHAN, that’s the result of being in a state of “flow.” It’s similar to the high runners or mountain climbers feel. (I don’t think it’s that serious but science is science.) 

It’s a catchy feeling that’s led me back to other things I love: painting and dancing. I’ve even taken up learning sign language. It’s made all the difference. Things feel a lot less bleak. In rediscovering my hobbies, I feel bits of me returning. I’m Exodis; the joyousenthusiastic person I’ve always beenIt feels great.  

It shouldn’t take a worldwide tragedy for someone to realize that they haven’t taken the time to take care of themselves. We should be able to make a living and still have time for things we enjoy. Some can make a living doing what they love, but not everyone has that privilege. What I’m saying is, if you haven’t felt like yourself as of late, try doing something for yourself just for you. I know life is busy and there are things that beg for your time, but if you can invest a few minutes in yourself, do it. I promise, it’ll be worth it.  

Exodis Ward may breached at prospecto[email protected]; @alexodislee on Twitter.