Life during the Co-vid Crisis

New York City.
NYC I love you

Hello World! Hope you’re all doing well. It’s been months, since I’ve last blogged and boy has the world changed tremendously! It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride with everyone dealing with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, decline of the economy, heartbreaks, mental health, racism, controversial political issues and such. Now I’m not going to get into politics because right now….. I’m trying to survive day by day.

I’ve been sick with an off-set series of fever for 3 months. It all started towards the end of March. That was when I had experienced the worst part of my symptoms. My asthma, which was highly triggered in January and slight bronchial infections throughout the beginning of the year. Doctors gave me prednisone, cough medicine, z-packs etc. Despite it all, I literally thought there was something serious going on with lungs. I had trouble breathing most of the time during walks and when I laid in bed at night. The wheezing and coughing loads mucous was bothersome and draining. I was constantly using my asthma pump and nebulizer. It got to points where I had to go to the ER and Urgent Care. The two times I went to the ER, I had to walk out because it was the middle of a Frigid February, and I got frustrated at the jam packed scenery in the ER. I was there for 3 hours and was ignored by nurses in the Monti at the Bronx. While I unhooked the oxygen tank I felt I had enough oxygen to come home and decided to self-asses by using my nebulizer. This was before the lockdown happened and I started to improve. I went to concerts, museum and art galleries, karaoke outings, brunches, etc. I still some asthma but ignored thefact that my referral to see a lung specialist (a request I had stressed to the doctor about).

I thought I was getting better. I was. But something triggered it. I was still experiencing a slight breakup but with the help of friends and wonderful activities, I was constantly on the go and feeling great again. The last time I went out with my friends was end of February, our last karaoke bash, a few days later met with a friend for a late night Sunday dinner and then got my nails done in Williamsburg, Thursday (the last day I was out in the city). Then Friday of that week, it was announced that we were going to be on a lockdown and there was a deadly virus spreading all throughout NYC. I was scared. With my asthma condition and my series of infections, I knew I had to stay safe and I tried.

During the Month of March, I got lost in tv shows, comedy (because laughter is the best medicine) movies, music, zoom chats with friends and handy work. From watching and rooting for Joe Exotic, binging on Bates Motel, Ozark, building my white lovely Hemnes Ikea Dresser, to hanging my abstract art work, 🧘‍♀️ Mediations, Going out for lovely little neighborhood strolls and mini hikes isolated area ( of course two weeks after lockdown ). I started to get severely ill end of March, my fever had spiked to 100 plus. I had trouble breathing, nausea, 🤮 vomiting massive phlegm, severe joint pain, red toes, bruises on legs, upset stomach, etc. I thought I had co-vid. My symptoms became worse after plenty of self-loathing and social media lurking on my exe’s profile. I was hurt he moved on with someone else and was in quarantine with this new hoe. I wish I had’t lurked because I spent a week crying and suffering this heartbreak that I thought I was getting over. Apparently this was like opening Pandora’s Box, my symptoms reached an all time high and I am convinced I sabotage my own immunity through my mental health. Depression can bring the immune system down. However, with the help of friends and strong pep talks, I started to get back up mentally, the severe symptoms diminished. But I have been dealing this stupid low-grade fever since Mid-April. Thats a long time to be sick! but I did not get tested until the end of April/ beginning of May and the results were negative. I have also gotten blood work which appears as normal. I still have to see other specialists and still in the middle of figuring this out.

My issue right now are dizzy spells, a constant persistent on and off low grade fever which makes my eyes burn. It is bothersome and at time I feel like I am going to faint. I don’t have severe asthma anymore nor do I vomit or have loads of phlegm to discharge. I try to go out for exercise, walking and mini hikes have been helping me loose the prednisone weight I’ve gained two months ago. I was 153 and now 142, a vast improvement from the junk I was consuming whilst in complete isolation. It’s easy to turn to food for an emotional high. However last month I changed my eating habits and went on a strict candida/ vegan diet, cutting out yeasts, sugar, meat, dairy and starchy veggies. My biggest eliminator was bread. It was difficult to manage because I eat bagels every day. I also munch on chips after dinner so I dumped all the junk from my pantry. These are probably the foods that were most likely making me sick.

I stopped drinking sugary juices, stuck to water or lemon water. Ate oatmeal for breakfast, eliminated eggs, ate fresh veggies, salads, no pasta, etc. I was and still am convinced that if I keep this diet up I could diminish the health issues I am experiencing. So far, I haven’t had severe joint pain nor asthma. I think dairy was the culprit along with the other fatty inflammatory driven-foods. After watching, ” What the Health”, I became aware of the importance of dieting clean and eliminating the very foods that contribute to disease. Now I’m not saying that after this experimental diet I will be cured, but that is the goal. It is worth a try. Along with this, I have been reading (despite my lack of focus due to low grade fevers) and I’m happy to admit today’s the first day in a long time since I’ve blogged. I’m a creative person and I would love to get back to my hobbies such as art, playing my guitar, etc. Also, I need to finish redecorating my room, it really needs a fresh paint of coat.

Let’s talk about unemployment. Its been hard not working and I’ve always been one to work no matter what. I freelanced in fashion for a few years and was so used to making my own money however being sick and living at home has helped me gain so much gratitude. Money is a necessity but nothing is more important than health. As much as I would to like to work right now, I’m a bit on pause for self-recovery. I have been actively applying to multiple companies and haven’t heard back. I am aiming for a remote role at the moment as I’m sure most of you are. I was depressed because I was living in the past and anxious because I was thinking much about the future. Then I realized I needed to focus on the present. It hasn’t been easy everyday require positivity, courage and persistent. I was thinking about the worst case scenarios, but with self-reflection, mediation therapy, Prayer to God, virtual church meetings, hope, gratitude, I’ve been able to focus on the present and less on the past and future. The aim is recovery. It will take time. Baby steps. I wonder if any of my readers are going through this if so please post below and share. I wish you all the best during these unprecedented times.

MY DAILY MOTIVATION

Write down your plan and what is working for you!

I am skeptic about many things in my life right now. The uncertainty of money, this stupid job, useless advice from people, relatives, etc. However, this is normal, to fear the unknown, yet take the plunge into something that has become my safe haven. Writing is my therapy. There are so many things I need to write about and I’m afraid of spilling half of those things out in writing but it needs to happen. I’m starting to think that maybe I can experiment with Fiction. Writing about myself through another character, growing up in a strict religion, loosing people through illness and just growing apart from others and making new friends, but more importantly finding myself. I think I need to start building my portfolio asap! it needs more content and there is an unfinished book I’ve stopped working on. As skeptic and stressed out as I am, I had the best sleep ever! Today I feel energized and ready to work. Only motivator for me is the pay at this job!

Despite feeling secluded in a corporate fashion logistics role at a cool contemporary brand, I dislike my boss and this job. Crunching numbers makes me feel drained and there’s not an ounce of creativity in this role. However, I’ve made a list of things that make it worthwhile: #1 Great location and less people! (even thought it’s far) #2 Salary! (I have not received proper salary since forever and I am just on the cusp…. so, I’l work with what I have) #3 Temporary Assignment (This means that the position may close at any time. Therefore, I shall work with what I have and just keep in mind I will not be in that corporate jail forever.

As much as I wanted to leave, I keep reminding myself to be grateful because I have this advantage to save up for graduate school and pay ooff other debt. Socializing with friends that are in a similar situation as me is such a motivator, it has helped me cope with my situation. I think keeping certain factors in mind helps me stay centered! I’ve also been sleeping better thanks to meditation and mindfulness, a topic I’l discuss later on. What helps you wake up everyday? What are your motivators? When doo you find time to work on your craft? Please share and thanks for doing so. Have an awesome day!

Work. Life. Balance Challenges and Graduate School Acceptance!

BELIEVE AND YOU SHALL ACHIEVE..

Hello Everyone! I have started new employment, another yet, temporary soul-sucking corporate fashion position. Not my particular knack, however the pay convinced me to accept it. The hours are 9-6PM and I’m usually home by 7pm. It’s a long commute, however at the moment it’s necessary for my expenses. I’ve payed off my graduate school deposit and also some other unnecessary credit card expenses such as makeup, food, etc. I was on a roll before but I got side-tracked. Shame on me. The role I started is temporary and for my first paycheck I plan to pay off my credit card charges. It’s awful to feel constraint to money. In many ways I feel like I’m trapped in a vicious cycle. But I am a work in progress. I plan to save up for Grad school. I finally got accepted into a prestigious writing school for my MFA. I am excited about my journey to Sarah Lawrence College! I hope it works out after graduation and I can find a job I am passionate about.

Regardless, life is incredibly valuable to wonder what if? I might as well take the plunge and step into the unknown. Which is why I am studying something unrelated to my previous field.I don’t think my Fashion Business degrees were a waste, yet, the lack of permanent employment was. I view this new career change as another trait I am going to learn. I always had a knack for learning and I think school helped me remain positive despite trials and tribulations, whether it was a break-up, health and family issues etc. learning and deviating my mind from noise helped me stay focused on education. Right now, I’m struggling with my on-and-off depression and this new temporary gig has made me somewhat miserable. Logistics sucks and my boss is demeaning at times, yet I keep reminding myself this is just a short-term role. (Sigh). It’s tough to get up from bed every morning.

I took a sick day today to job hunt for more tolerable jobs away from this or retail (or anything that is fashion-related). I have also applied to teaching jobs, which is something that has always fulfilled me, even on a bad day. I think that it’s a noble career and more suitable for me. I enjoy teaching others and learning form them as well. Let’s hope this new path works out. I never thought in a million year, I was going to change fields. I just simply grew out my previous one and found my true passion in writing. It happened to me in my second semester in my undergrad and when I started tutoring others, I realized this was better than any catty corporate fashion company I’ve worked for. I thrived in it. Anyway, as I am actively applying to several jobs a day, I’ve realized not all hope is not lost.

Going forward, I’ve taken some steps to reduce my mental strain. No more comparing myself to other people and no more feeling envious or jealous. I am trying to journal my sentiments, so I can reflect on them rather than act them out in a state of rage or melancholy. I’ve decided I want to be happier and focus on myself. No more toxic friends or outings. No more toxic guys or relationships. Just spending more time alone and less as an extrovert. I am trying to rely more on myself and less on others for happiness because people will never satisfy me 100% percent. I think learning to tone down my feelings of surrounding myself with other people is important so I can be more emotionally independent. Therefore, I am vowing to take care of myself. I hope you can too and follow your true passions in life. Please share your experience about how you overcame your career switch and how do you cope with if you’re depressed at a job. I love feedback. I hope I can inspire you as your comments inspire me! Have a wonderful day and sending positive vibes your way!

NEXT STOP: A CAREER CHANGE

Image result for career change

One of the hardest things to do when you are unemployed is to SAVE. Currently, I’m in that state where I am engaging with anything or anyone that is FREE. As you already know, I am an avid concert goer and yet I’ve laid low with concert purchases. I’m also in the midst of saving for Graduate school, as I don’t know what funding will be like going forward. I’ve stopped shopping to become frugal because I’ve decided to make the most of every piece of item I own. No more fancy splurges on nails, nor boozy brunches or fancy cocktails. It’s hard but there are tons of things to do at an affordable price. Cooking meals at home will save you so much money and it will benefit you when you recycle left overs.

This is the best time for me to take advantage of being this free and apply to free scholarships. Chegg.com has tons of them. It’s certainly not easy, I’m still in transition of switching my career. Today, I was told I did not sufficient experience in an area of my field. My question to these picky industry folks is, ” How is one supposed to even gain experience if they are not given a chance?” I am frustrated.

However, a part of me is also motivated and I’m sure most of you (unemployed-soon-to pursue-graduate-school-folks ) can relate. I’ve sworn so much today well in my head. I’m just open to positive vibes going forward. And if I have to slave away in retail then screw it, I will do so. Anything, I just don’t want to be unemployed any longer. Spring is here and I’m not going to waste another day in bed. I am gonna get up and apply to more jobs. If you are ready for that career change don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, trust yourself and move forward. You have a vision and even if it requires grunt jobs temporarily you will get there!

Freelance your way into success with a POSITIVE MIND!

I’m stuck in a job that I’m not particularly fond of. Another short-term position sucking the creative soul out of me. I despise that I am always treated as a “temp”. Even when introduced to others in the office. Yesterday was a day I wanted to quit because I read a complex facial expression on my boss while training me. These people hired me for a reason however, I feel as if they expect perfection. This makes me anxious. My heart desires creativity and less corporate seclusion.

Also, there is more pressure to work hard in this job knowing that it is not a permanent position and just a 15 week project with the “possibility of going permanent”. Coworkers can be harsh but sometimes life is about swallowing your pride and accepting the obstacles. Coworkers are quite clique-ish and that is okay as long as I stay out of it. If I don’t click with anyone, I’m there to learn, provide and receive a paycheck. I am professional, courteous and try to be as focused as I can. Occasionally, I’ll engage in small talk on light subjects to keep it light. I ask when I need to ask and take notes. On the contrary, it is hard to remain positive so I’ve started writing out my goals again as a self-reminder.

Learning a new software or a complete new field can be difficult. Fortunately, its a trait because one is gaining new skill sets. It’s evident that “trash talk” from other employees, will mostly likely occur during or after the training period. People get frustrated and it is human. However, I am learning to let it go, if I hear my name, I won’t assume it was about me and if it was… it is irrelevant. I am not there to make friends but to learn, focus and leave my work problems there. I hate talking about work outside of work , therefore I’m learning to delete the topic after hours. It helps me stay stress free when I do.

I’m truly frustrated with this state of limbo. After I got laid off last year, I’ve only been freelancing despite applying to permanent roles. Sometimes one has to choose what they can get in order to survive and build experience. Today is a clear example of why I’m doing this. I can still create art, play my electric guitar and write on the side. And attend live music shows because music is life at least for me. These hobbies keep me grounded and remind me not to quit because what is life?… when you don’t have enough funds for shows, rent and travel. Gotta keep hustling away.

If anyone feels stagnant in their just remember don’t leave until you save enough funds or find something better. You won’t regret it when you do. The main key is to continue to create if you’re a creative person like me but stuck in a corporate jail. Remember that everything is temporary.

Have a “teflon mind” where you can you can adapt to situations but not get attached. My issue for example is controlling anxiety, if I get constructive criticism in the workplace inside I’m suffering because I think I’m going to get fired. Basically I can set myself up for self-sabotage which is not healthy. I’ve been at this new freelance position for almost a month and everyday I’m learning. However, this is not going to stop me from pursuing my master’s degree.

My goal is to seek higher education and switch my career. Stating this out loud makes me feel great! It keeps me grounded when I feel like I’m drowning at work. If you feel this way, I’m glad you’re reading! because you’re not alone and just remember to stay positive and write out your goals everyday. Stay strong.