‘Nothing could have ever prepared us for the pandemic.’ This has been my mantra ever since the lock down began. It is no news that the pandemic hit my country really hard. I now realize that there is a world of difference between reading news reports about the increase in unemployment and actually having close friends lose their jobs.
At some point, I had to stop listening to the news and focus on getting my job done. My heart skipped a bit every time I got a call from work. I was practically scared of getting a call informing me that I had been laid off.
I didn’t get laid off but I was offered a pay cut. At first, all I could think of was how to make up for the difference. I got so carried away with finding more writing and editing side jobs. It was all that mattered at that point.
In the second month, I got a call from a close friend. She had basically called to check up on me. I was very excited and felt really guilty because I had acted as if I was the only one affected by the pandemic. She told me of how she lost job during the first month of the lockdown and how she had been volunteering to serve food to people in her community.
Listening to her share her stories with so much excitement, I realized that I had been worse than selfish and there was more to life than having enough money to foot my billshttps://unsplash.com/photos/UTw3j_aoIKM. We ended the call with my promise to check up on her more often and help her with her job search.
I took the next day off to re-evaluate my current disposition and how I could help people within my immediate community. One thing I did was to decline job offers and recommend my friends as the best talent for the job.
I created a weekly ‘call list’ where I basically listed everyone who I had to call every week. It wasn’t the regular one-minute call. I actually spent time listening and trading stories with them. My best part of every conversation was listening to them describing how they felt after our conversation.
Have no doubt. I am still a long way from being a pro in keeping tabs on my community. There are days I get lost in my own little world. However, every moment I spend caring, loving, and being present for them is worth reliving time and time again.