Although the month of March marks spring break for many of us I believe it also marks the anniversary of the pandemic for all of us. Due to the pandemic, we are coming up on the two-year anniversary of a forever-changing world. Sometimes honestly I would rather just leave the pandemic behind us, and not dwell on the past, but talking with some of my friends made me realize they went through the same feelings during the month of March. Then I asked myself, do you think other people feel this too?
March has a certain smell. I never realized this in years passed. I guess I was always moving too fast to literally stop and smell the flowers. But when the pandemic started and my only outlets were long walks after a day of zoom calls I realized March does have a smell. Maybe it’s the snow melting or life waking up again, but I blame this recognition on my heightened sense of awareness during the pandemic. We all move so fast in life, that pandemics slowed us all down, allowing us the joy and frustration that comes with enjoying and recognizing the very small things we gaze over. But the smell of March is different for all of us. For me, I remember the warm and cool breeze from my window as I was doing online school. The wet grass in my backyard while playing lacrosse, certain perfumes, lavender, peppermint tea, mini chocolate eggs, and toast. The list goes on and on. I find myself turning to a friend quite a lot saying that smell is so familiar then realizing later it was a pandemic smell. But sometimes when I smell things from the pandemic it brings back a lot of emotion for me. Whether that’s sadness, frustration, or anger. Some things in my life I purposely avoid because it reminds me of March during the pandemic. I believe this is my subconscious trying to protect me from going back in time because honestly, sometimes it’s scary.
We all have that one article of clothing that we love. For me, it’s my sweatshirts. I love the comfort and safety they bring me. Although I think my mom is sick of this collection I am creating I think there is a reason behind it. Before the pandemic I took for granted having to wake up to an alarm, wake up when the sun wasn’t up yet, and pick out an outfit. During the pandemic, my mom woke me up and I rolled out of bed in whatever I was wearing and threw a sweatshirt over it. I bought this one sweatshirt during the pandemic and literally loved it into the ground. I wore it every day because no one was going to say anything, I no longer had to get ready. I fell into the pattern of not getting ready for school and constantly would put this sweatshirt on. I lost so much of my confidence at this time due to the fact I didn’t start my morning right. This navy and gray sweatshirt is now folded in my closet at school. I will absolutely not wear it, but I also won’t give it away, throw it away, or let anyone else wear it. To me, it served its purpose but I needed to move on. So now I buy myself sweatshirts, maybe too often but I like creating new memories with each one starting with my pandemic sweatshirt.
I love my weather app, I look at it probably way too much. But before the pandemic, I would ask my dad what the weather was the night before school and when he wasn’t around maybe put a leg out the door in the morning to see what the temperature was like for the day. The one thing I looked forward to during zoom was being able to sit in the sun and do school work. Maybe it was the warmth that brought me some small joy in my day or the feeling of no longer being cold, either way, I was transported. I do not like when it rains, although I am working on enjoying what it brings I would rather have the sun. During the month of March, a lot of my happiness relied on what the weather app would say. Because of this constant habit during the pandemic if you were to ask me now what the weather is I could probably tell you days in advance what it would look like.
Although I think it’s easy to push these memories and feelings that March brings with it I think it is also important we talk about it so we don’t feel so alone in those feelings. So be gentle with yourself always but especially in the month of March.