The COVID diaries

It’s probably safe to say that no one of us has witnessed a global pandemic before. Everything that has been going on over the past six months is unprecedented. Personally, I feel like I boarded a rollercoaster back in March that keeps on going and going, no end of the ride in sight. Since then, I have gone through so many phases. Denial, despair, and anger. Feeling positive about the future and then feeling utterly hopeless again. Being so frustrated I could literally scream at one moment, and bursting with creative energy the next. I have struggled to understand what exactly is going on, only to accept that I – and probably no one – will be able to fully understand this any time soon.

After a while, I came to terms with the fact that my only option was to stop fighting the situation and give into it. I stopped making plans and started taking things as they came, day by day, week by week. I gradually learned to live with the new, yet constant feeling of uncertainty. Like a barely audible hum, it vibrates beneath the sounds of my everyday life. I can’t even hear it all the time, but I know it’s always there.

I’ve been having more nightmares recently than I had in a really long time. Maybe it’s because of the hum.

And yet, I’ve been experiencing more love, more kindness, more creativity, more space, more growth, and more connection over the past months than I have in a really long time, too.

Out of the dark place

I do believe that every crisis is a chance for growth, because it takes you out of your comfort zone, sometimes to a very dark place. It forces you to change, to adapt, because it leaves you no choice. To get out of that dark place, you have to make a move. And most of the times, that move will take you somewhere better, to a place that you didn’t even know existed in the first place.

From what I’ve experienced in my life so far, a crisis is something that is first and foremost personal, affecting only you and maybe a few other people around you. This crisis however is global and it affects all of us. It affects us as a society, it affects us as humanity. That is why I often wonder: Will that make a difference to how we come out of this at the other end? What if the potential for change that lies in an individual crisis will be multiplied by a million times because this is no longer something that is happening to just one person at one point in time. It is something that is happening to all of us at the same time.

I feel like Corona is a unique chance to grow that universal feeling of ONEness because we are – quite literally – all in this together. From the very beginning on (or let’s say after I finally managed to get my head out of my butt and stopped feeling sorry for my freedom deprived self) I was curious to hear how other people were dealing with the situation, how they were feeling, and what they made of all of this.

The conversations that followed were SO enriching and they helped me massively. I was suddenly able to see aspects of the situation I hadn’t been able to see before. I was able to look beyond my own struggles and worries and put them into perspective. I might have been feeling trapped and caged having to work from home for weeks on end, but did I have to homeschool two kids at the same time? I certainly didn’t. I might have been incredibly bored with the slow pace of life during lockdown, but did I every consider that for others, it meant that they got to spend as much time with their family as they never had before (and probably will not be able to again any time soon)?

The COVID Diaries

With every story I heard, I felt less alone. More than that, I started feeling hopeful again. And I realized that I wanted to share the stories. So I started a little project. For lack of a better (and probably more original) name, I called it The COVID Diaries. I sent out a number of questions to some of my friends from all around the world because I wanted to capture the global nature of the crisis. As broad as my spectrum was in terms of geographical location, I deliberately narrowed it down in other aspects. I decided to only interview women, because I was interested in getting a specifically female view on these strange times.

What I found was that every woman I interviewed had been experiencing the crisis a little bit differently. They all had their personal struggles and their individual ups and downs. And yet, they had all gone through something similar.

I cannot thank the fourteen beautiful women who contributed to The COVID Diaries enough! Thank you for being so open, so ready to share, so raw, and so honest. Your words truly moved me, as I am sure they will everyone who reads them.

Over the next couple of days, I am going to share all these incredible interviews here. Most of them will be in English (which is why I decided to write this introduction in English, too), a few of them will be in German. I am very curious to hear other voices, too. Please share your thoughts with me and the communinity of The COVID Diaries women if you feel like it.

In deep respect for every personal story

Annie

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