look for the sunshine

With all this “free” time now, I finally have a moment to just sit down and write. So here are some ramblings to help me (and maybe some others) through this weird point in time.

Nothing feels real right now. It all seems like the prologue to a movie where 238 years in the future where students are in a history class learning about this point of time. It seems like uncertainty is the name of the game right now. It makes me feel awkward more than anything. This combination of fear and resilience coming together at different times and with different strengths. Like in my mind, and to everyone around me, I say it will all be okay. Then, however, I decide looking at twitter is a good idea. My heart starts to beat faster. Will it get better? Will people listen and forgo selfish desires? Will they follow recommendations made by people far more qualified than them?

Times like these show people in their truest forms. The people who claim their freedoms are paramount and continue to go clubbing on Saturday nights. The people who give into the fearmongering and rush to the supermarkets to buy bulk everything. (I have lived in Calgary all my life and this has been the only time I have ever seen completely empty shelves at Costco.) The people who see this as an opportunity to profit selling toilet paper in grocery store parking lots and hand sanitizer on eBay capitalizing on the fact that they went to the stores days before others. To be blunt, it sucks having to see people like this. As someone who will see everyone in the best way possible — until proven otherwise — when my perceptions break, my hope follows. If this is how people react in a crisis that hasn’t reached its peak, how will they react when far worse things happen.

But to focus on the negative means to only see one side of the story. Some people do continue to help me find the sunshine on these cloudy days. Like the people who are offering childcare to parents who continue to work during school cancellations. Like the people who are cancelling trips they planned months ago knowing that even if they are not among the people affected most, they can spread it to the vulnerable populations. And most significantly, the health care officials who continue to put their own lives in harm’s way to support the well-being of their communities. The people who listen are the most valuable assets in our population today, so I hope people continue to do so. I hope that people don’t underestimate the impact they have by simply staying at home and following the requests of health officials.

To all those who still find it hard to come to terms with everything, what helped me the most was to look at the sunshine both metaphorically and literally. As I am typing this piece right now, looking out my window and seeing the blue sky is the most comforting thing. It reminds me of what normal is and how the sooner we listen to what is being requested of us and follow through to the best of our ability, the sooner we will be able to return to normal as we know it. Even if, most likely, normal won’t be completely the same, it will be better than the current situation. So while I am telling you to look to the future, don’t forget to utilize the time we have right now. Take this time and finally let the tension that has plagued your body for the last few months leave. Get some rest, catch up on a TV show, read, write — do whatever makes you happy. Stay connected with your friends: call them and send them messages to check up on them; don’t let physical separation keep you away from them emotionally. Overall, don’t let these times of uncertainty take away everything you love because if you relinquish all control now, it will be hard to regain it.

I know that this time feels especially difficult for my fellow seniors. It’s the fact that everything about our final months of high school seems to be up in the air: will we have a graduation ceremony, will we be able to go on our grad trips, or even if we will be able to see our class one more time before we go our separate ways. It is hard (trust me the thought of not being able to walk across the stage is really saddening) but the only thing we can do is hope. Hope that people recover and are able to regain their health. Hope that treatments for people who are most vulnerable become readily available. Hope that life will return to life as we knew it at some point. It honestly might not happen before June. However, if we are all safe and well, isn’t that a success and celebration in itself?

So my final words to everyone are simply this: look for the sunshine on these cloudy days wherever it might come from for you. We will get through this.


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4 thoughts on “look for the sunshine

  1. Dear Nimrat,
    You yourself are a ray of sunshine. How beautifully you were able to shift the lens bearing down on this crisis so that we could see the rainbow of colour rather than the painful and blinding white light. You broke down everything so seamlessly, that I can not help but remember how I was in awe of you in the beginning of AP (how long ago that seems). You have the strength and mental capacity to do wonders, and sitting at home without a routine to follow will not change the impact you have. Your words are worth gold.
    My favourite quote was, “Overall, don’t let these times of uncertainty take away everything you love because if you relinquish all control now, it will be hard to regain it,” because I will never be able to deny its truth. It has only been six days, and I can feel myself slowly losing my sanity because uncertainty, as per the definition of the word, makes me question the very things I am certain of. Thank you for inspiring me to take control of my life again.
    All in all, I hope I get to see you again before you go to university. Just know that you have already walked across the stage in my heart.
    Much love,

    1. Dearest Nazeefa,

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad to have inspired you to take control of your life — remember it’s you doing it, so I commend you! Sad to not see my little AP children for a while but I know you are all capable people who will do well on the exam and everything else.

      All the love,

  2. Nim, my love:

    How do you always know exactly what to say and exactly when to say it? This little message has arrived at exactly the right time in my life, at the intersection of worldwide crisis and personal disaster, and has eased my aching heart. You absolutely nailed the “in the beginning, there was sickness…” apocalypse feeling – as an overdramatic person, I have felt like a flashback in V for Vendetta more than once in all of this. More importantly, however, you nailed the lesson we should all be taking from this. I suppose I did ask for a break – and I suppose that the universe gave it to me (albeit in a highly unusual fashion).

    Thank you for your constant words of wisdom, and I’ll see you back in calc when this whole thing blows over.


    1. Maria, the woman who holds me heart:

      I miss you tremendously and wish for the normalcy of calculus so much. I know you work much harder than you need to, so take some time for you please. You deserve it more than anything!

      Much love,

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