Ask the Collective is our signature question series featuring our favorite change-makers. These intimate questions illuminate the human side of these eco-goddesses.
Current events have impacted our community in various ways, from hardship to achieving greater levels of personal clarity. This check-in with our friends has been as eye opening as any.
This month's question:
How has COVID-19 changed you?
Jammy Ungab, @darlingoftheorient
Honestly, I had more anxiety attacks when the pandemic started.
The tourism industry has been badly affected by COVID-19 and just thinking of not having a job for months or even years is stressing me out. In addition, I am often worried about our staff members, who are struggling since the resort closed. I also used to go out to nature to recharge, but that’s not possible either.
Anyway, on the lighter side: the pandemic motivated me to do something that I always enjoyed (crochet bikinis) and could be a possible source of income during these trying times.
I also didn’t like cooking before, but I am doing it a lot now, I work out more and I talk/chat more with my family and friends/former classmates who I haven’t heard from in a long time.
Rachel Bare, @rachel_baree
The current state of our world caused by COVID-19 has been felt by everyone. I feel no different in this as this time has caused some of the fastest, toughest and greatest challenges for me.
It has brought me to live with my partner after only 2 months of dating which has brought massive transformation into my life. In choosing to quarantine with my partner I have relocated deeper into nature and we are creating our dream home and retreat space.
This has forced me to face the overwhelming feeling of guilt for feeling so happy and excited during this time. Yet I have found choosing to fully feel the pain and suffering of the world as we have known it and all the loss we are experiencing, yet also allowing myself to fully be present with what is happening in my current moment and enjoy it has forced me to learn to find the balance in polarity.
This practice and way of thinking would not be possible I do not believe without my daily practice of tea ceremony and spending time in nature. It is my hope that through this painful and challenging time we can find the buds of life and see the beauty in this great uncertainty.
Anne Therese Gennari, @annetheresegennari
I feel like I've landed in a new sense of calmness.
The days just flow better now, and I've allowed myself to listen to my body and its needs.
It's not like I'm not doing things — I'm almost more productive now than before, but these days it's like whatever I do makes sense, because I'm listening.
Tori Tsui, @toritsui_
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gaping holes in the system by which our world currently operates, and in revealing this, it’s allowed me to reimagine how I want to champion a better future.
I understand that the pandemic situation is a tricky one, I don’t want to see as a time of positivity (because this time is undoubtedly very difficult), but I’ve tried to find the silver lining in being alone with my thoughts.
It’s made me more aware of my own struggles and the folks around me. It’s made me more conscious of the biases in life that make folks more vulnerable to our system’s failure. It’s taught me a lot about how community in its physicality plays an important role in my wellbeing.
If anything I’m a more aware person than I was earlier this year.
Meg Lazaros, @megmakeslesswaste
I'm more vulnerable and more forgiving, but I'm also more on edge.
I'm grateful for my safety, but angry that our country cannot support our most vulnerable communities.
I'm caring for little ones so I'm less social with friends; I'm not feelin the zoom culture, and I'm tired all the time. My mind is having to constantly expand its understanding of the current situation, and damn...that's taxing!
The bright spot is becoming even closer with my family. Our bond was already strong. Now it's invincible.
Madison Oakley, @maddie_oakley
During this time I have been staying home, I've had a lot of time to reflect.
It has given me more self awareness: I'm learning which activities I truly love to do, what my passions are, the people I love and miss and if the goals I'm after are still important and true to me.
I think it's been hard for everyone not being able to leave unless needed and not see their family members who are more at risk. But I know that I am lucky to be in a position where I can stay home, I am safe and have a yard. I've become much more grateful.