The “Hello From The Other Side” blog series was launched in response to COVID-19 to share what young professionals think and feel about the changes happening in our community, and how they are finding ways to navigate those changes. We hope that these stories give you insight, hope, encouragement and community as we move forward, together. If you are interested in sharing your own story, please contact us here.

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What I’ve found so compelling about this whole COVID-19 experience is that it is affecting, and this isn’t hyperbole, literally everyone. I initially likened it to the most recent government shut down where the only people that felt the brunt of it were those workers out of a job because of it. This however, has escalated to a whole new level that has impacted everyone – everything from small, minor inconveniences to major life altering implications.

I’m one of the fortunate ones in that the impact on my life has been, by comparison, minor. The company I work for went through its first round of furloughs last week, however I was one that was spared. The tradeoff, if you will, is that my pay is being cut by 40%. That’s not an insignificant percentage to lose given my life is built around my full earning potential. When I was told I was going to lose that amount all I said was, “Ok, sounds good,” because I knew there were people out there who have it far worse that I do, who lost 100% of their income. So yes, it sucks to lose almost half but I’m grateful that I still have the opportunity to earn a living through these times.

Perhaps my biggest frustration through all of this has been that I am forced to work from home. I’ve always operated with the belief that work doesn’t get to come home. My home is my space, and no one and nothing I do not want there, gets to come in. My home is supposed to be stress and hassle free and some place I look forward to coming back to at the end of the day. Because of COVID-19 some of the luster of my home has worn off because I’m here all day and don’t have the opportunity to look forward to coming back at the end of the workday.

I’m electing to use this time of not really being able to do anything to continue to work on goals and future opportunities, things I otherwise wouldn’t have time or be able to get around to if life were functioning normally. I’ve never been one to sit and binge a show, it feels like a waste of time to me and could be better spent elsewhere working toward greater aspirations. When we come out of this I want to know that I was able to take advantage of the time and actively take steps toward goals.

Other than not having to work from home, the activity I miss the most is going to the movies. Going to the theater is one of my absolute favorite things on this planet to do and brings me so much joy. This virus has taken that away from me, taken an important part of my self-care, and it’s beyond frustrating. I know not being able to go to the movies is extremely trivial compared to other challenges people are going through related to this, but this nonetheless, is still important to me.

Finally, nothing has changed regarding my lifestyle, fitness or nutrition. I’m still cooking 95% of the food I eat and working out daily. This virus is not a free pass to eat out constantly, or lose sight of health and wellness goals. If anything, I believe it should help motivate people to make changes and focus more on their health. The only challenge is I’ve had to become increasingly creative with my workouts, finding various household items to use for resistance like a five-gallon water jug.