By: Diandra Rengel
In Touch Intern
Adolescence, the time to be young, the time to make mistakes, the time to go out there are to discover yourself.
20… Young adulthood, the time to find someone, the time to build a relationship, the time to give and receive romantic love.
The times as theorized by Erik Erikson (1950) stood corrected by the pandemic. At 20(20), the time stopped. Time was forced to stray off its natural course and therefore steer us from the direction we have been accustomed to. The time we are all in now is different.
And the challenge is to be at par with this “new” time. Our daily challenge is to live as normally as possible, to do business as usual, to follow the routines we built. But, my problem with it is that it is difficult to pretend that everything is the same when everything is actually the complete opposite.
In this present time, I am living the life antithetical to my optimal and absolute self. My mind stays in the city, but my body does not. I have grown to love the hustle and bustle of the city life: noisy and crowded streets, beautiful city lights, and the nightlife, but I had to go back to my hometown and settle in the quietness and stillness of life in the province. My heart beats for the outdoors; walking around and seeing malls and skyscrapers, sunlight hitting my cheeks, and doing activities that make my blood rush through my veins, but unfortunately, my immune system does not align with what I want to do since COVID is the one lurking around.
With this mismatch, I raise the question:
How can I then live normally? How can I take back the time that was taken from me?
How can I take back my youth?
The short answer is to.
1. used with the base form of a verb to indicate that the verb is in the infinitive
2. used without a verb following when the missing verb is clearly understood.
The long answer is to create your own youth.
Consider yourself. Your likes, your passions, your happiness, your goals.
Realize your potential. Try new things and discover new skills and abilities.
Envision the thing/s you want to create.
Acknowledge and accept reality. This is what is happening in your life right now, and this is what you will do about it.
Take a breath. There is the constant inclination to be productive, but you have to keep in mind that resting and taking a break is also productive.
Enjoy. Afterall, to create being able to be your true self.
As for me, I best translate this built up energy for the world outside my home through art and writing. I create through journaling.
Each one of us has the capacity to create anything we want and the beauty of this is that you can never go wrong with creating. Nothing you create has ever existed and so, the rightness or wrongness of what you created cannot be determined.
As the saying goes: Do whatever it is that you want as long as you are not hurting anybody and you are not doing it for the detriment of another person. This applies in creating as well. While creating is all about doing the things you want to do and making yourself feel in control in uncertain times such as this, there can still be the question of motivation.
How do I get out of a downward spiral?
As you already know, the short answer is "to".
The long answer for this is still to create. You just have to create a spiral that only goes up.
Everyday is always a new swirl in your spiral. Each revolution around this spiral holds a lot of opportunities, chances, and possibilities to create. Creation does not always have to be something grand: you can create a new cup of coffee everyday, surely the water level is different or the amount of beans you put varies each day. You can simply create imagery in your head, create a vision of the future where we can all safely go outside, imagine the time going back in our favor.
Until then, continue to.
About the Author:
Diandra Rengel is currently a 4th year BS Psychology student in Ateneo de Manila University.
She aspires to serve in the medical field and become a practitioner that emphasizes on the importance of psychological and mental health in both prevention and cure of physiological diseases. With the motto, “It is what it is,” she always tries to make the most out of the present and be both thankful and understanding of the things that are happening around her. She believes that it is important to stay grounded and to continue to have hope.
Erikson, E. (1950). Childhood and society. W. W. Norton & Company.
To. (n.d.). Oxford Languages. https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/.