It’s surprising what can affect your memory. It’s even more surprising what can trigger a memory coming back to light. My mental health has always been the cause for, what I assumed was, memory loss. I’m sure at least in part it is memory loss, however I have also had memories come back. I’ve created memories to be what I wanted them to be and have had the real deal slap me in the face out of nowhere. Filing through what is real and what I’ve stowed away so deep that I thought light would never touch it is an extremely difficult process. Reconciling that my past is far more haunting than I realized has been extremely difficult. The line between protecting yourself and healing is far thinner than I anticipated. Perhaps the line is imaginary because within healing is growth, within healing is protection.
Picture this: it's Father's Day in Tulsa Oklahoma, the day after the Trump rally, and your dad wants you and your siblings to go to brunch with him. You can imagine the mental preparation we had to do for this. The three of us haven't been to a restaurant since the beginning of March. Our dad on the other hand, love him to pieces, is not the most proactive person when it comes to prevention. He has hand sanitizer on him all the time and uses it fairly regularly, but only wears a mask when the establishment requires it. He's been going out and traveling and just living as if nothing is happening. My siblings and I have taken things much more seriously; rarely leave the house, constantly using sanitizer and washing our hands, always have a mask on in any public area. It's second nature now.
"I freaking did it again!" I screamed at myself after realizing I had fallen back into that pattern. Not just with this particular thing, but with everything. I've grown extremely apathetic and, for me, that's detrimental. I'm a college student, and I had a paper due yesterday. I told myself 'Oh, let's just finish it tomorrow and take the 10% dock for turning it in late.' Yeah. Okay. It honestly was not hard to agree to that. Today, I told myself 'Screw it! Just turn in the pages you have and take the F.' Okay. Again, wasn't hard to agree to. Except about five minutes after I submitted what I had, I realized I had done it again. Self sabotage at its finest. Pretty much what I am best at.
I was born in 1994, so I am a millennial; just one year shy of being part of Gen Z. Meaning I had the privilege to grow up closely with both generations. I had the privilege of seeing the generational gap being created between Gen Z and everyone else. Gen Z grew up in a time that was extremely different from what anyone had ever experienced before them; the age of technology. I remember using encyclopedias in school on essays and projects, but I also remember googling what I needed on other essays and projects. Neither is foreign to me, but there are millennials who never had technology at their fingertips until they were in their twenties. Here lies the disconnect.
Yemen is currently in the middle of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Around 80% of it's population is in need of aid in order to survive. Along with a famine and many dying from malnutrition, they also have experienced the largest cholera outbreak in recent history, are currently engaged in a civil war, and have been hit with COVID-19. Since 2015, more than 600,000 people have lost their jobs and at least 80% of the population is living under the poverty line. According to many news outlets, if there isn't intervention soon, Yemen could be wiped off the map.
Lets go back to March 17th, the day I was told my work was closing for two weeks in response to COVID-19. About a week or so in, all restaurants, bars, etc. were closed until further notice. I work in a coffee shop, so that meant me. Okay. So a few more weeks? I really didn't know, and nobody really did. What started out as two weeks turned into two and a half months and it was one of the best things that's ever happened to me.