Positively the Blues: Pandemic style in the Key of Me Flat

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Life shrinks or expands in
proportion to one’s courage.

Anaïs Nin (1903 – 77)

Author’s Note

This is not another pandemic article proclaiming you can snap yourself out of depression as if its as easy as flipping a switch or even that you are doing anything wrong– but thankfully most of us have a process that works for us and it’s getting back to that that is the key. Focus on your solution as I focus on my mine.

But, I am self-aware enough and strong enough to realize I’m sliding downhill and to get a grip. AND YOU ARE TOO.

Shrinking

Pandemic
Street art depicting “these times”.

One could say that courage and fear are polar opposites, especially in a pandemic. They are two ends of a spectrum with all mixtures in between. In my last 9 months, I have had the courage to kick in doors like I was Indiana Jones. I’ll talk to anyone at any time. I have been fearless in a quest to change careers. I’ve turned myself inside out looking for motivation and knowledge.

But in the last two months, I have felt myself shrinking more and more. I’ve noticed a total lack of motivation in myself, lack of ability to focus or keep myself occupied (much less productive), and creeping negativity. This has to be common right now. Its a depression focused on the general landscape. And, if you’re with me, you spent a month or two wallowing in a WTF-type, wide-eyed mode and to let the dust settle. And I had to snap out of it.

Image of quarantine sign. No link.
Past quarantine notice from San Antonio Police Department. Police Orders.

My life was shrinking due to the pandemic. In part thanks to our current environment, but my life was becoming narrower and narrower. I was putting my life on hold until the pandemic was “over”. Well, the pandemic’s effect on our lives is far from over. I think I can say that with assurance.

What Happened?

I grew very cautious when it all started. I tend to think that most people did. I was a little freaked out, honestly. It was a total shifting of gears and erasing of the board. In a 24 hour period, all sports were canceled and the government was on its way to closing the country and banning gatherings as a whole (temporarily, but indefinitely).

What worked for me?

The key to my pandemic recovery is not the decisions I have been making that all feel on the cautious side, but rather the decisions I was not making about being an aggressive networker (to the best of my abilities) and pushing myself back into that professional non-comfort zone that pivoting careers require. All while facing a new reality that has the certainties of a roulette wheel at the moment.

My daily reminder at the park next door.

But, aggression in my short term goals, as opposed to passivity, allows me to feel like I am taking more (not all) control of my uncertain future. But, it takes corage to jump back into your process. Will it still work? What adaptations do I have to make? There are many areas of my life where an abundance of caution is called. Navigating a family through a pandemic is not a time for risk-taking. One of my favorite phrases is “There are answers to our problems.”

A pandemic calls for “an abundance of caution,” as the phrase goes. But, not when it comes to pivoting careers– which, for me, has been a lifestyle change. Stay aggressive (or true to your style). Stay creative. Stay strong.

If you made it this far, did I mention I’m looking?

You can contact me through this site or go to my LinkedIn page for more.

One thought on “Positively the Blues: Pandemic style in the Key of Me Flat

  • Great piece, Andrew! I remember the days when people used to read to the end of a post, or anything else online that consisted of more than a paragraph for that matter. Great stuff and best of luck! Laurence

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