“As you binge your thirteenth entire series, read a book, or fall asleep to music, remember that in the darkest days when everything stopped, you turned to artists.”
Despite the loss of live theater, concerts, and in-person performances, the arts have nevertheless persisted. We witness this magic almost every day virtually, through our TVs and laptops, in various Netflix series and movies. That glimmer of creativity and hope has been a beacon of light for many of us. It’s a comfort to find actors and materials that speak to us in some way, especially when that physical environment has been so heavily restricted. This is just one of the many beautiful, immeasurable reasons why I fell so deeply in love with the creative industry. This industry has always stood as a guiding light that constantly reminds us why it’s okay to be deeply human, while motivating us to stay creative and curious.
Losing this in-person magic for over a year has been undeniably heartbreaking across the globe. I recently saw a piece that said, just because artists have found alternate ways to make an income and manage their time, doesn’t invalidate the fact that this has been an incredibly hard, painful time for them. For me, there have been many difficult days consisting of anxiety, existential crises, and doubts. On top of that, I felt like my emotions were linked to pure laziness, and believed I was wasting all that downtime not doing anything; despite the obvious existing pandemic that made it physically impossible for us to live in normalcy.
We’ve become very good at blaming ourselves for situations that are entirely out of hands. It’s time to put that stigma to rest, and give ourselves the chance to rest instead.
Validating those difficult emotions is incredibly important in the process of healing. Being deprived of your passion is a painful road to go down, so it’s important that we stick together to lift each other back up.
Speaking of which, I noticed some challenges in my first day back working with artists in person again in NYC. Normally, I’m a social butterfly. I love meeting people, networking, and building new connections. However, on my first day, I felt myself shrink and tense up. Working with a new group of people for the first time in over a year felt pretty overwhelming and intimidating. Instead of feeling bubbly and outgoing, I was very quiet for a lot of that first day. What I learned is how normal this is when it comes to rediscovering a sense of normalcy, and how I’m absolutely not alone in it either. It’s not wrong to be intimidated and overwhelmed over the idea of navigating life again after being deprived of that in-person element for so long.
Once I gave myself time to ease back into things, that intimidation began to fade, and was instead replaced with the curiosity and passion I have around meeting new people and building new experiences. A friend of mine described trauma recovery as “being asleep, then feeling like you’ve woken up.” The experience of finally forming in-person human connections again absolutely felt like waking up, on so many different levels.
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that the creative world is absolutely, unequivocally unstoppable. Witnessing this firsthand in New York City was healing and rejuvenating beyond words.
Despite the obvious differences and changes due to the pandemic, New York never left; and neither did the arts. There is no Earth without Art, and I am beyond excited to witness the creative world continue to blossom, brighter and better than ever.