Let’s be real. A global pandemic is not the best for becoming a master of a skill. The underlying anxiety caused by tiny daily decisions like “should I go to the grocery store to buy milk and eggs and risk getting ill and dying” and “I won’t be able to wash my hands until I get home but I need to run multiple errands to save on gas” exhausts my brain and body. The constant transitioning online, offline, online, offline, to stay afloat as an entrepreneur feels like trying to catch a particularly quick chicken. Running, clucking, spreading your hands out in front of you and hoping for the best.

When I can’t make plans for the future, and I truly understand that I don’t have control of anything, it’s hard to aim to master a skill like I usually do. I practice piano, but what am I practicing for? I rehearse with my band, but what shows am I rehearsing for? What tour am I prepping for? I’m saving money to move to a new city, but when will I be able to safely visit the cities I might move to? “Promoting myself” begins to feel like pushing useless art on people. I can’t reach them by performing live, right in front of them, with the sound reverberating around the room, all breathing together and feeling together. So.

I’ve developed the following skills:

Knowing which size Tupperware will work best for leftover pasta, as opposed to leftover stir fry.

Cuddling with my kitten.

Telling friends that I love them, that they are beautiful.

Training morning glory vines to climb up my porch railings.

Clearing out clutter in my house (okay, maybe not every week, but DEFINITELY more than twice a year).

Giving small gifts to neighbors, friends, family.

Giving my partner long, bear hugs.

Noticing signs that the season is changing.

Staring out the screen door at the garden, green, alive with sun, feeling the flyaways around my face moving in the breeze.

Walking at night through the neighborhood, feeling like I’m back in middle school, telling each other all our secrets.

Concocting dank dinners that take me hours to plan, prepare, and execute.

Being me.