Growing up as a young lady is not easy, as it becomes apparent very early- maybe somewhere around the age of 6 or 7- that nothing is ever quite right about who you are or what you’re doing. You’re too loud or don’t speak up for yourself, too tall and intimidating or too short for a world built to scale for men, too fat or too skinny, too muscular or spindly and weak.
As a massage therapist in the twilight of Covid, it has been a pleasure to care for people who have been stuck in their houses for months, working from home crunched up at their kitchen tables or other ad hoc home offices. It is satisfying to unwind these knots of tension in the same way it is soothing to watch a hot knife cut through butter, and the care that we have given at Sacred Hour for the last several months has carried with it a sense of duty it never did before because of the unique confluence of physical and emotional tension created by the circumstances.
If we could boil down the root of all the anxiety and frustration we have felt this year to one cause, it would be uncertainty.
It is one thing to hit a bump in the road, but so many, and all of which have lasted longer than anyone believed they would made not just the outcome to each calamity but also the timeline uncertain. It is hard to know what to do with your feelings about something when the finish line keeps moving around the next corner. And to manage these events together as a nation would be somewhat soothing, but it is hard to feel bound to our fellow Americans when we are all supposed to stay six feet apart.
Last Thursday I greeted my last client of the night and left her to some privacy to get cozy on the table. Everything was the same as it ever was, but when I came back in the room something seemed off. Then I noticed with a tiny prick of sadness that the light filtering in the sides of the blackout shades on the windows of my room was already starting to fade at a very young 7 pm. It doesn’t seem like we got much of a summer at all, and with dismay I noted that it’s already almost over. Seeing the sun begin to set so much earlier than it had been since we reopened made me realize how much time has passed while I busied myself with trying to make sense of such a terrible and strange year. Presence is a verb, indeed.
At this point in the year I’m sure all of us have canceled at least one big plan. But not only are we all lamenting the big canceled plans- weddings and graduation parties come to mind first- but also the little ones. A summer void of casual girls nights, staying out late with your partner, and hitting happy hour with your coworkers after finishing a big project are the little losses that add up. It may feel like your social life is dying a death by a thousand cuts, but the silver lining here is that there is most certainly something you can do about it.