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What I Learned During Quarantine: Plans for the Future

If you didn’t already know, the state of Georgia is finally opening back up. And after weeks (months?) of staying inside...I’m really not ready to go outside.

I mean, sure I would love to go shopping, eat out, catch a movie with my boyfriend—I could go for a spa day too. But in all honestly, I think this was what we needed. We were too busy rushing, trying to keep up with the bustle of life, when really we needed to take our time. Now this doesn’t mean all the lives lost meant nothing. I’m terribly sorry if you or someone you know lost a love one. Throughout this isolation phase, I’ve learned a lot and these lessons are going to shape my future plans.

1. People are disgusting!

Okay let’s be honest: people are really nasty, and I wasn’t all that surprised. I recall many of times being in lecture halls, wishing I could take a shower after hearing people cough, sneeze, or hack every five minutes. I’ve even watched a few guys splitting on the ground on my way to class 🤢. And DONT get me started on public restrooms!

So yeah, the harsh reality is many people are nasty. How to tackle this issue? Working in retail, I realized wearing makeup or even a tinted moisturizer helped protect me from breakouts. Now I can’t wear makeup everyday I go out (I don’t have Fenty money like that). However, I‘ve thoroughly enjoyed wearing a mask out in public. It’s big enough to cover not only my nose and mouth, but also my trouble areas (such as my cheeks, chin, and under my eyes). I personally dont believe in wearing gloves in public. If you’re not in the medical field or handling food, they really have no use and they cause more harm than good. Wearing gloves could result in cross-contamination if you’re not careful. If you don’t know how to properly remove them, you will get all those germs and bacteria back on your hands. Also, I’ve seen countless gloves just discarded in the parking lots. Not only does that result in a poor worker having to come clean up the mess, the gloves could get into the ecosystem and damage the environment. And it brings the value down in your neighborhood. I stopped shopping at my local Kroger because of this.

Bottomline: assume everyone is sick and wear a mask. Avoid using single use gloves and opt for either hand wipes and sanitizer. And if you use gloves, THROW THEM IN THE TRASH!

2. I spend waaaayyyyy too much on food

Dolla Dolla Bills Ya’ll!!

I used to work parttime at a boutique in Buckhead, so my commute was quite a lot. I was also taking belly dance courses Monday through Thursday (and occasionally Saturday if I wasn’t working). So yeah, I was doing a lot of driving and since I wasn’t cooking, I was eating out a lot. Now that I have no where to go but to the fabric store for supplies and the grocery store for some occasioanly shopping for my mom, I’ve saved a lot of money on food and gas!

So with all this extra cash, I got responsible: I paid three or four times as much as my minimum balance on my credit cards; I’m paying two months on my car note. I’m even putting a couple bucks or more toward my savings accounts. And yes, I’ll do a little shopping. Not that I need any new clothes but have you never met me??

The best part about my bills being paid on time is my credit score has gone up! If I’m lucky, I might save enough for a house 🤞🏽

3. I’m so over working

Before all this began, I was afraid of losing my job. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay my bills, and...well yeah how was I going to pay my bills??

Well now that I’ve had the time to focus solely on my business, I’m not looking to work for anyone else. I’m tired of the interviews with companies that mean nothing to me. I’m tired of the job applications and the million accounts I need to create. Also really REALLY tired of the scam emails and phone calls! Working for myself has been a blessing and a gift, and I rather keep the momentum going.

I’ve attended many seminars about how to bounce back after the pandemic, Canva tutorials, building connections with small business owners and business coachs—the information I’ve gained is amazing!

If I do end up getting a good job, my goal is to continue working for myself! I’m even arranging to take an online SEO marketing certification course after the pandemic. No more am I waiting on someone else to take care of me.

4. I have all the time in the world!

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s a lesson I must reiterate. Everyday, I think I’m not getting closer to my goals. I sometimes felt I was slipping further and further away from them. But what I’ve learned from this isolation is that although our days are numbered, that doesn’t mean everything will come to fruition tomorrow. We have to learn to take our time, which is why this isolation was good for me. Things take time, and if we rush them, we’re only setting ourselves up for failure.

5. I really love my boyfriend!

Selfies in Walmart

Okay this is going to be cheesy but I gotta say I love my man! We had plans to get an apartment before the shut down. But the day before we were going to move in, he was laid off. Then a week after, so was I. Was I disappointed? Absolutely! This was going to be our next step in our relationship. We were both in a transitioning phase of our careers, but that came to a screeching halt as well. We were also trying to set up real dates so we didn’t end up just going out to eat and going home. So we had to get a little creative.

This wasn’t the first time we've been apart either. Throughout school, he was working back in Atlanta while I stayed in Statesboro, GA. After we graduated, I stayed a little longer in Statesboro while he moved permanently to Atlanta. He would sometimes drive or fly down to visit and I would do the same. So I’m used to him being away for a couple of months.

What we’ve realized during this quarantine is we can have fun without spending so much money on food and going shopping. In fact, we had a lovely picnic at his community center while we watched planes fly by (yeah he’s also training to be a pilot 👨🏾‍✈️).

Our love has really grown stronger, and I’m grateful for it. Surviving this pandemic is going to make us all stronger! What I’m hoping for the future is a long vacation to make up for my birthday plans and our anniversary plans (at this rate it’ll probably be his birthday celebration trip lol!)

So I want to also thank everyone again for purchasing masks and supporting my business. Thank you for taking the time to read this. And as always, stay safe, keep up with your vitamin C, and stay home to save lives.

~~with love

ReneA P.

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