my view

Certainly uncertain

Living with mental equations impossible to satisfy

By JESSICA SCHWALB
Posted 8/12/20

Time has taken on an uncomfortable nature since March 13. The days and nights are somewhat perpetual, somewhat rapid the way they linger and dissolve simultaneously. I often battle with which emotion …

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my view

Certainly uncertain

Living with mental equations impossible to satisfy

Posted

Time has taken on an uncomfortable nature since March 13. The days and nights are somewhat perpetual, somewhat rapid the way they linger and dissolve simultaneously. I often battle with which emotion is most moral to feel. Dreadfulness, guilt, or boredom? It seems that I should have no issue being productive with my schoolwork, yet I frequently find myself in an inescapable rut of procrastination. The endless scrolls of Snapchat and Instagram eat up my time and then the list of procrastinated homework explodes into my mental forefront, eating up more of my time. I worry about my sibling and cousins returning to their college campuses. What if they end up sick and I cannot even be there to support them?

My ideals have changed. What do I truly care about now? What have I been pretending to put effort into? Should I solely focus on school and be appreciative I no longer have to manage the social realm of my life? Do I really care about exercising? I’m sure many teens accompany me in this imaginary therapy office, attempting to quiet the constant mental bickering. This might be read like it’s anarchy in my brain, and, well, that’s because it is. I am somehow pressing on to maintain my own course of independent academic study and with no certainty if I’m doing it right. I have mixed feelings about this time off. I love to be with my friends and go to the movies and to the mall, thus making me dread that those fun places are indefinitely closed. Yet, on the other side of my mind lies the dire reality of this situation we live in and the lives lost. It is a mental equation impossible to satisfy. And once every business has reopened and school has begun, and restaurants are in full swing, will things ever be the same?

This historic period’s destruction could be paired with that of a tornado. The fear, the confusion, or even the gratitude—whatever you feel, you are not wrong. You are not inhumane for feeling this way. I am not sure what will come of this. The magnitude of uneasiness is incredible. I know a vaccine has the power to tame this virus, but what will tame uncertainty?

Jessica Schwalb is a rising senior at Sullivan West High School. She loves to write and stay involved within her school and local community. Jessica plans to continue her education in college to major in political science.

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