THE NEW NORMAL...
As the world begins to reopen, many of us have asked what we want our new normal to look like. What do we want to change in our individual lives? What do we want to see change within our society and culture? We asked our writers these questions, and here is what they had to say.
BY: COLLECTIVE CULTURE WRITING TEAM
TAYSHA BROWN - During this pandemic, nature has asked us to take a back seat, surrender, and be still. To be still is to be vulnerable; to be vulnerable is to be honest. It asks us to look at the ugliest versions of ourselves individually and collectively. To openly accept our limitations, make peace with them and seek ways to rise to the occasion. It has opened the floodgates to a set of reminders that we have lost touch with. A reminder that we are forever evolving, healing, and that we cannot do it alone. A reminder that intimacy goes beyond physical touch; to evolve intimately on an emotional and intellectual level. When we learn to become more familiar and comfortable with ourselves, we see the importance of mutual vulnerability, openness, and sharing.
In a post-COVID world, I hope we can strip back all layers of fear and isolation, and take greater strides to open up all lines of communication, whether that’s within your own home, in a conference call, or with yourself. To become more intimate with ourselves and our communities, comes honesty, patience, and compassion. When we start communicating openly about personal and collective needs and respect each other’s differences, then we can begin to tackle the wrongs of the world. Continue to ask questions and remember that patterns can be broken, unlearned, and re-taught. Discover new angles and let go of old ideals, while remembering what past patterns have taught you in times of hardship. It is a constant journey; one that is better suited in unification. We must continuously remind one another that we are a collective, we need to be resourceful, and that we cannot go back to 'normal'."
NICOLAS ANDRÉ - "Where I can make supper for my family. Where I love you’s are not muffled by a mask. Where I can pet a dog if it sniffs its way up to me. Where independent bookstores are given the love they deserve. Where we don’t rush into normalcy just because it’s “terrace season.” Where my social relationships are not debased to relatable memes. Where our virtual interactions do not regress us into observers in a world desperate for action. Where I can see my grandmother again. Where minority communities have a voice, a voice that doesn’t need to scream to be heard. Where our biggest anxiety is for each other’s survivability.
Although I don’t know when any of this will happen, I know for certain that it can only happen here. So when it does, I hope we’ll share the same fears. So that maybe, at some point, they’ll disappear."
BOBBI ADAIR - "During quarantine, I had the time to read a book about past life regression therapy. Mira Kelley’s Beyond Past Lives stuck with me for two reasons. Firstly, her notion of regression - exploring and resolving issues from past incarnations that are currently interrupting our mental, physical or emotional health - felt like the world today. By being forced to slow down, I reverted to basics - an almost youthful expanse of time stretched in front of me. A new freedom of choice, previously lost in the scheduled haziness of adulthood. From spending more time with family to spending more time outdoors - possibly by force - I, for one, pared back. The joy I found in that minimalism was a feeling I plan to incorporate into my new normal as we return to a business-oriented world. Like the slow crawl of a hot Jamaican day, time stretched on and allowed for a more simple way of being. There was time to remember I was human.
Secondly, Kelley’s book reminded me of the value of taking time to remember we are always in control of our own time, despite societal demands for us to acclimate to one speed. The boundaries of what is possible are malleable and the mantra that “my timing is always perfect” reminds me of that elasticity when faced with chaos or a new normal. Quarantine was the consequence of an unhinging virus that also provided a therapeutic exercise in time management and the vulnerability of self. That awareness is something I hope to maintain."