What’s most important to you right now? 

Making it through the day. I’m very grateful that I have a good network in New York virtually that I can call upon. I’ve found just being on my own and sitting with my feelings is what I need. What a great opportunity to do so right now! It’s strange because when life was normal, I kept at a very fast pace. This is forcing me to really answer what I need to make it through the day. 

What was most important to you before you had to social distance? 

It’s strange, because it wasn’t much different. This has been a shit year for me–throwing in a pandemic is the funniest thing to happen after all the stuff that’s happened to me this year! What was important for me before this was really taking care of myself as well, but in a different way. I’m spending this time kind of reflecting on when the world goes back, what I’m going to take back with me. 

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over? 

I’m going to embrace all of my friends, and I’m going to hug and kiss everyone that gives me the opportunity to do so. I work in a restaurant, and we greet each other with double cheek kisses. I’ve never missed those more in my entire life! I can’t wait to see them and do that. I’m a very physical person, and that’s been hard. My touch tank is low, so I cannot wait to fill it. 

What are you doing to pass the time? 

I’ve never been one for home workouts, but I’m doing a lot of those. I’m grateful for them because it’s a new appreciation for my body and what I can do. Me and my dog are one person now. He is my life and my shadow. I am so grateful to have a dog at this time. I can’t imagine this time without him. We go for three to four walks every day. I love our walks, It’s kind of what I look forward to. I’m noticing a lot more in my neighborhood that I wouldn’t have. I’m having a lot of fun appreciating my deserted neighborhood. 

What makes you happy right now?

Cooking has made me very happy. That’s one of the primary ways I’ve shown love in my life. It’s interesting that it’s still that way, but it’s love for me. You have the time to try out those new recipes–and some of them are coming out bangin’– I’m gonna be prepped for any and all dates after this! I’ve never made bread, but I made bread. Being outside, even for the littlest bit is helpful. I’m leaning into watching television and movies and not feeling guilty about it. I’m having a really good time. Thinking about this time as research for life has been really helpful to me. Any sort of human connection right now makes me happy. 

What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today? 

Slow down. Two months ago, I feel like I was still pushing. Once you’re forced to slow down, if you don’t choose it, it feels a little panicky. That’s something I’m going to take with me out of this–slow’s not bad, slow’s pretty good. Having less pressure on yourself each day is not a bad thing to take as a New Yorker. When you’re constantly at a fast pace, there’s so much less you involved in your life. I’m journaling again. 50 years from now when this is over, and kids are in school learning about this time, they might not have all the TikToks. So if you’re writing things down, that’s what they’ll know of this time. I’ve been trying to document my own [experience] and that’s been really vulnerable and hard, but a really good teaching tool for me. 


Emily R-Brooklyn

DAY 24