What’s up, y’all.
I don’t tend to talk too much about personal things here, but it’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that I’m still very much doing my job… while quarantined in my home. Publishing has always been an inherently personal thing – the subjectivity of my job, the soul authors put into their work, the emotional vulnerability of it all – so it stands to reason that not having a clear line of separation means that, well. My life is my job and my job is my life. I’m working off my personal laptop. My desk is six feet away from my bed.
I’m quarantined on Long Island with my parents. In the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty lucky: my finances haven’t been impacted except for the fact that I no longer have to pay $500 a month to commute, my parents go grocery shopping for me, and I don’t pay rent.
Today starts week 18 of my quarantine. I’ve been out of the office since March 13. If I got my math right (highly unlikely), today is day… 126? Today is day A Lot.
I’ve found myself quite lonely most of the time. My family isn’t a very interpersonal bunch. We tend to keep to ourselves. I miss my friends desperately. I also miss my enamel pin collection and the POP! figures that live in my office.
I spend most of my time playing Animal Crossing, reading fanfiction, taking bike rides to-and-from my local Dunkin’, watching too many YouTube videos and Twitch streams, and spending an endless amount of time quietly on video calls with my friends. Some of us have a TikTok exclusive group chat. We’ve hit a threshold.
A lot has happened since quarantine started. I know this isn’t unique to me, but I also can’t stop myself from listing them every once in a while and wondering how this all happened in less than half a year. I lost an uncle, an author, and a dog. Not to COVID, but it hurt all the same. Several of my friends and acquaintances have lost family members.
I won’t get to go wedding dress shopping with my best friend. I will have to watch her say yes to a dress over a Zoom call. Anyone who’s heard me talk about her knows I would do absolutely anything for her, and they also know I would do absolutely everything in my power to make sure her wedding is the most incredible day of her life. So sure, I’m a little upset for myself that I wasn’t allowed to be there with her. But I’m also sad that I can’t give her the big moment I know she wanted.
I won’t get to see my other best friend. He lives in Georgia. I visit him every year. I was supposed to see him over the 4th of July weekend. I haven’t seen him since October 2019. I miss him.
I lost two really big auctions. And while those sucked in the moment, I realize that it proves I have good taste, that I’m getting good books, that agents are seeing me and recognizing my capability, that my superiors are trusting me with the kind of responsibility an auction requires. I feel good about them now. My hat was in the ring and I’ve proven I’m here to play.
But I also acquired three books in quarantine, one of which was a second book by an author I adore (more on that later, my friends *finger guns*). I brought six things to staff and five things to acquisitions. All in quarantine! And sometimes, it’s really hard to find the motivation to do even that, but I’m building momentum and developing a routine.
My brother got a puppy (his name is Loki). I can’t meet him yet, but I love him already. I’ve rearranged my room approximately once a week. My mom celebrated her 20-year anniversary at her job, so we got a free wine fridge, which is pretty dope. I’m getting a new tattoo soon. I’ve managed to see a few of my friends. We were safe, and it healed me. I’m not afraid to say that I would put myself on the line to see them over and over again. The things I do to stay safe are for others, if I’m being perfectly honest. There isn’t much I’m afraid of.
They say we probably won’t be back in our office until January 2021. I’ve spent a lot of time avoiding long term plans and solutions because we were so convinced it wouldn’t be a long term thing. First it was “it’s just a month, for precautions.” Then it was “maybe we’ll be back in June. Less people will be in the office during the summer anyway!” Then it was “I think we’ll be back by at least Halloween. That’s gotta be long enough, right?” I’m not too convinced of anything.
This has only scratched the surface. This isn’t even taking into account the absolute turmoil that is our society right now. This is only the things that are going on inside my own home. That’s wild, my dudes.
I feel like I’m living the same day over and over and over again. How ’bout that? The girl born on Groundhog Day can’t get out of the time loop.
We love irony here.
My Snapchat Bitmoji is still wearing its winter outfit. I frequently forget that it’s summer and wake up sweating. My last haircut was at the end of January and I was supposed to have another one at the end of May. I just sent my managing editor an email with this picture and nothing else:
There’s joy somewhere.
Like I said, I don’t tend to talk about myself, especially not here, especially not the less-than-positive things. I’m definitely not one of those people who purposefully cultivates a positive, upbeat exterior; that really is just how I am. Dwelling on negativity hurts me, personally, so I don’t like to do it, especially not where y’all can see. But every once in a while, I can’t not acknowledge it.
My newest goal is trying to develop more quarantine hobbies. A lot of the things I like to do involve other people, and a lot of the things I like to do alone aren’t feasible (for instance, I love going to the movies by myself. But that’s not really a thing right now, is it?) I need to be more active. I’m working at least one bike ride a day into my routine and I’m trying to do some more yoga because my body hates me. I spend eight hours in front of my computer, only to disconnect it from the monitor and spend another six hours sitting on my bed… with my computer. I’m thinking of taking up some arts and crafts. Maybe I’ll rearrange my room again.
This is all to say that I am starting week 18 of quarantine with no end in sight, but I am chugging along because I am, how you say, a stubborn asshole 🙂