I ask for your pardon for the three words I'm about to say to you. I'm over it. I'm fed up. I've had enough. I'm so tired. I'm very angry. I'm very frustrated. I'm not okay. I'm ticked off. I'm quite peeved. I just can't. It's too much. This must stop. No more games. Give it up. !&*#!(@!)*$ No matter how you say or phrase the three words together, unintelligible or not, the sentiment is the same with all of us. We're done with this. We're fed up with it. We can't take this anymore. We're not sure how much more we can take. This isn't funny. We're tired of going nowhere. We can't handle this. Not again. How much longer do we have to put up with this? When will it end? Aw, HELL NO. And what is it we're exactly over? Or more to the point... What I'M exactly over? Well, lots of things. For starters, I'm over this pandemic and the variants and everything in between. I'm tired of wearing masks inside places and guessing if people are smiling at me. I'm sick of having to bypass people on the street just so I won't run the risk of getting infected. I'm fed up with not being able to hug people I care about on a regular basis, whether they are from my church, work colleagues, or even actors I work with. I'm at my limit with having to give hard stares at people who don't wear masks on the metro or in places where masks are still required, let alone act stupid because it's their "God-given right" to breathe. I'm frustrated with individuals who choose not to get vaccinated (not because they CAN'T get or are UNABLE to get vaccinated due to their underlying health issues which prevents them from getting the vaccine, but because they CHOOSE not to because of their fears and unwillingness to accept the correct information from the right sources). I've had enough of dealing with allergies, a cold, or an infection being actually a symptomatic form of COVID disguised as these. I can't take being an actor in the theatre and having to test every week or even every day just to ensure the show will go on. I'm at my wits' end struggling to breathe when I wear my mask inside each day and gasping for air as if my very life depended on it. I can't stand it any longer when I deal with patrons or guests who believe the theatre community is "barbaric" or "overreaching" when we insist our vaccination and mask policies are out of protection, I just... I just... I just can't take this anymore. The fear. The anxiety. The judging. The divisions. The anger. The frustrations. The lost opportunities. The lack of connection. The lack of love. The lack of patience. The lack of understanding. The lack of self-care. To put it bluntly... I'M OVER IT! But do you know what else I'm over? And it all stems from the past two years of a global pandemic? It's how much we are still rooted in our bad habits, comfort zones, and old ways in order to get through this pandemic, with quite a bit of complaining and procrastinating involved in the mix. It's like the pandemic hasn't done a thing to change or transform ourselves into the people we were born to become, or worse still, it changes us to the people many others want to avoid because something so frightening can become such a divisive topic at the dinner table or anywhere we go. Think about it: We had the chance these past two years to truly take care of ourselves and see that the old way of doing things is not working and cannot continue whenever we reach an endemic. We saw the horrors of the mistreatment of the BIPOC communities at the hands of law enforcement, political parties, and even our own neighbors, and we had the chance to learn, understand, grow, and change how we view one another. Not as threats, but as PEOPLE. We should have taken the time to appreciate the real heroes and heroines of the pandemic who kept things going and kept us safe, such as doctors, nurses, medical practitioners, and more. We were given plenty of opportunities to grow closer with our loved ones and not take any day for granted, especially as more and more lives were lost due to a relentless virus. We were blessed to have artists move their craft to a virtual setting, along with the voices of those mistreated and underrepresented shouting for change and accountability, and we should've taken immediate action to transform the arts industry that represents and protects each and every individual. We were meant to have more time away from work and have a healthy balance between our careers and personal lives. Or better yet, flexibility! This whole time of the pandemic was meant for change and transformation, but unfortunately, things don't always go to plan. And the very thing that I'm over is all interconnected to the other things that I'm so done with dealing with. Things like selfishness and entitlement. Things like hurting one another physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or even virtually. Things like division and hatred between groups of people for no reason. Things like stagnancy and lack of motivation. Things like fear. Things like misinformation spreading like wildfire and the unwillingness to listen to the real facts. Things like not holding each other accountable for our actions. Things like a lack of patience for the wishes and hopes for ourselves and each other. Things like not accepting one another as human beings. Things like misunderstanding people and things. Things like "my way or the highway!" Things like resisting change. You can only imagine my face whenever I encounter these on a daily basis. Wait a minute. You don't have to. I'll show you.
Yeah, you can tell I've had enough of this. And do you know what gets me mad? It's the way people are so dang resistant to the changes, interruptions, bumps in the road, and twists & turns. They just don't get it. Things WILL never stay the same or go back to the way things were, even after a pandemic. Too many things have transformed, been altered, upended, and even moved forward for us to take steps backwards. What part of this is so hard to grasp? Why is it like a quadratic equation to figure out how ebb and flow with change? What are you so afraid of when change happens? I wish you could just tell me so that I don't always have to repeat Mr. Spock's line "change is the only constant." It would make things so much easier. Okay. You can tell how hot under the collar I am about being over so much right now. So what do I usually do to cool down? Even get in a couple of belly laughs from time to time? I distract myself or let my mind wander. Usually this is done by watching an uplifting or funny show and film. In this case, I just got around to watching The Flying Nun. Yup, The Flying Nun with Sally Field. Even though the premise is a little bit corny, the messages from this show are still relevant today, and it doesn't feature much of a religious preaching but more of a universal language that can be applied for all of us, whether or not we believe in God. One particular episode may help explain change in a new way. And it all starts... With a fish. Sister Bertrille bought a fish for a special dinner the sisters in the order were having for some special guests, but unfortunately it was eaten up by three hungry felines. Sister Sixto, a fellow nun of the order, remembers her uncle, Gus, in town as one of the best fisherman in San Juan. They both go to him and request a fish for the dinner. Gus does provide the fish for free, although not in the way one expects. He ends up taking a fish from Lily's Fish Shack and has the amount put on his already in debt bill. The dinner was a success, but of course, Sister Bertrille, Sister Sixto, and Sister Jacqueline find out about Gus' method of getting the fish. Sister Sixto calls her mother and brother for more information, and it turns out Gus is struggling financially because of the rise in technology fisherman are using to find big catches of fish. Much of the fisherman who used their old methods gave up, and Gus is practically the only one left. He can't afford the new equipment, and he's already loaned out on his boat. Sister Bertrille wishes there was something they could do to help, and both Sister Sixto and Sister Jacqueline sneakily suggest Sister Bertrille could use her flying skills to be a fish spotter for Gus. At least until he gets back up on his feet. Sister Bertrille reluctantly agrees. While I won't spoil the whole episode for you, I will say that this message is all about change and how many times we often wish things would stay the same. Or even that their way is the best way and it should always stay this way. But I'm going to quote Reverend Mother Placido on this one: "That is not easy for anyone to accept. Through the years, one does one's job as best one can. There are failures, a few successes, but one begins to think that one's way is the only way to get the job done. And then, one day, someone new blows in like a hurricane and scatters that tidy, familiar world in every direction. Suddenly the old way is not the only way. The children have new clothes in all the colors of the rainbow, there is a street carnival to raise money for the convent, strange new methods of teaching, a purple station wagon, lessons in aerodynamics... And like Uncle Gus, Sister Sixto, one wishes one could turn one's back, close one's eyes, and pray that things would soon go back the way they were in the good old days. But that is not an answer. It is an EVASION. Accepting change is difficult, but it can be done." Don't you see? The idea of closing your eyes and wishing things could go back to the way they were isn't helping. You are practically DODGING and BYPASSING change just so you can be comfortable and stay put. But sooner or later, change will come to you and you will have no choice accept it.} You can't run away from it. There's no use shutting your eyes and praying it would go away. And there's no point in staying put & not moving at all. Change is difficult, it's true. However... It CAN be done. Think of it best this way: We all start as babies, right? And every year we get a year older. And as we get older, our bodies change. It's uncomfortable, yes. But these changes will come our way and we can't stop it or delay it further. It's harder for the changes to come emotionally and mentally if one isn't properly taught to accept them with grace and a big dose of humility. It's the same with the world around us. Each second, minute, half-hour, and hour is moving forward and changing with it. Seasons change. New buildings are being constructed from the ground up, changing the landscape. Renovations happen in our homes or in businesses to help change the environment and bring a little life into the locations. New ideas and suggestions come and go, effectively or ineffectively changing how we do things. But the point is this: We can't run away from change. Sooner or later, it will catch up with us. Children grow up and start thinking about new ideas and ways to help change the world. Would you rather stint their growth by not allowing them to think for themselves and guide them with love in this ever-changing world? Would you rather deprive yourself the opportunity to move forward in a new direction and be open to the endless possibilities change can bring as your children experience in schools and in life? Do you want to shame them for learning new ways and creative solutions when they're just trying to be their own individual? Think about it. By keeping children away from the changing world and not allowing them to learn, grow, and thrive is doing a disservice to their growth. And I know that's the last thing any of us want for future generations by discouraging change. And that's what truly gets me hot under the collar, especially to the point of saying "I'm over this." It's not that I'm over this pandemic (I really am tired of it), but I'm over what these past two years didn't do to us as individuals, which was to transform and change our lives. It should've made us refocus and put our priorities in the people and things that truly matter to us, make our lives more balanced and less stressful, and actually be kinder to one another. I'm over how a challenging time like this hasn't made us willing enough to change with the times because of greed, stagnancy, lack of direction, stubbornness, and pride. When will it be time to actually accept change as a tool for growth and understanding one another, and ourselves? I wish I knew. (This was a frustrating two years for me because of my observations of fear leading to division, stagnancy, and hatred against one another. I'm glad to have this outlet where I can share my experiences and thoughts on various topics going on in the world. But here's the thing I need you to remember: these are MY observations and reflections, and you are welcome to disagree with me. I have one request - NO hate speech, offensive language, or even trolling allowed. I will block you if you do anything that is harmful to me or anyone else who comments on this post and others.)
They say we burn brightest when circumstances are at their worst.
The COVID pandemic is certainly a tough circumstance, and it’s still going on.
But unfortunately, many people are unwilling to burn brightest when things are so bad.
Or even rise above the challenges.
Or even fly.
(In this world full of people, only some want to fly. Isn’t it crazy?)
Call it control, looking out for yourself, strict attention to detail, planning ahead of time, or whatever you want.
But I think you need to call it what it truly is:
What are you so afraid of, especially during a pandemic?
Losing loved one from the virus, or from the choices you’ve made?
Pivoting to something new?
Moving to somewhere new?
Eating humble pie?
Admitting you were wrong about something or someone?
Starting back at square one?
Being ostracized for who you are?
I wish you could tell me so that I can tell you this:
O, ye of little faith.
You are worried about losing so much of what you will lose that you aren’t seeing or even evading what you will gain when you finally accept and embrace the change that will come to you. I may not be able to change your mind or force you to see what I see when change comes, but it won't take away how I'm over your hesitation and flat-out resistance to change. You can't run from it. You can't wish it away. You can't delay it. You can't stop others from changing and transforming. You can't stay rooted to one spot in your ignorance. You can't encourage others to stay in the comfort zones with you. You can't bypass it. You can't pray that things will stay the same. You can't do any of those things.
No matter what you do (or don't do), change will come. And it's high time you started accepting it. It's not a threat, a disease, a nuisance, an alien, an inconvenience, or a problem that you're making change to be. You need to stop making change the negative ideas and beliefs that cause you to retreat to the safety of what you know. You will NEVER grow and transform into the individual you were meant to become if you keep on doing this. I know, it's scary. But do you know what's scarier? Losing and even hurting those you love by resisting change... And doing nothing to inspire the learning, growing, and thriving you were destined to have. Hear me out: You are worth so much more than where you are right now, and deserve a great deal of happiness, education, and love in whatever you do. And it's not going to come to you if you evade change and not face it. We all have to do this, no matter how much kicking and screaming you do. Remember what Reverend Mother said: "Accepting change is difficult, but it CAN be done." I know you're scared. I am, too. But sometimes, we have to hold on for dear life to see where change takes us... Even if it's to the other side of the darkness we're currently in. I may be more transparent and blunt in these past few blogs, but the emotion and passion I'm feeling is valid. I'm over this pandemic, yes. And I know you are, too. You can't wait for things to go back to the way they were pre-pandemic. But should EVERYTHING go back to the way they were? Even treating certain groups of people with disgust and fear? Even turning a blind eye to those who need help? Even lacking kindness that's as simple as holding a door open or helping a neighbor in need? Even working outrageous hours and not have enough time to take care of your health, physically, mentally, and emotionally? Even treating the arts as an afterthought or a reward for doing well in school? Even silencing or not believing victims of sexual assault, rape, gun violence, and more? Even depriving children the chance to learn about the history of this country - the good, the bad, and the ugly? Even not taking a stand for the change that is long overdue for every single person, especially those who have been ostracized, outcast, mistreated, and unheard for so long? Even to hide behind denial when the truths and realities of what has happened comes to light and we must face it? I don't think we need to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic... Certainly as many of our past behaviors and beliefs never worked or sat well with others in the first place. Now do you see why I'm over this pandemic? I hope you are over it, too. And why we must accept the change this pandemic brought us. Don't be afraid. We may be in different boats of sizes and shapes, even clinging onto a piece of the ship for dear life, but we're all weathering this storm together. No one has to go through this alone. No one is truly alone. Come to think of it... Not one of us is not over this pandemic. We ALL are. When we get out of this, I hope we're not afraid of how change can upend our lives... But also transform us for good. Think about it. Carpe Diem.