Quarantine Quashed My Creativity

But I did become fluent in British slang

“It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.” -Joan Didion, Goodbye to All That.

I started 2020 so excited about possibility. The previous fall, I’d traded cowboy boots for platforms, ready to take a hit of that New York freedom; and it was truly intoxicating. I’d walk through Union Square belting Amy Winehouse, or parkour off a bodega wall, and no one gave a fuck. I paired socks and Chacos with men’s blazers and called it streetwear. I once sobbed during rush hour at the intersection of 67th and 1st, and a friend texted me after: “Congrats! You don’t live in NYC until you cry in public and nobody cares.” Those first six months in the city felt like one long sigh of relief.

young and in love

In woefully cliche fashion, I’d moved to New York to be a writer — and the place was brimming with stories. I kept little observation lists, like this one from a day on the subway:

relics of past life

I got to report on a badass dominatrix collective, and I finally felt solid enough to reckon with some old trauma. I also had two day jobs: tutoring kindergarten readers and bartending. The boundless, invigorating energy of tipsy adults and that of tiny humans bookended each day.

Then there was that fateful week in March, when our whole world changed. I lost both jobs, and like everyone else, most all human connection. Nine months later, the road ahead is still foggy.

Honestly, I haven’t felt creative in any way during quarantine. I could never get myself to hop on the sourdough train or try a new exercise or really do anything except binge watch Love Island UK (brain’s fried but she’s got good bant now). I barely wrote at all, because I had nothing to say, and I didn’t want to add to the noise. Every night I fell asleep to sirens and woke up to moving vans. The rich fled to the Hamptons, leaving the poor to pick up the pieces. As Megan Amram said, “Corona is a black light and America is a cum-stained hotel room.”

But while my own writing felt inconsequential, I was consistently amazed by others’ work— Ed Yong’s coverage in The Atlantic was a guiding light all year. This must-read piece in The New York Times so deeply humanized the statistics. Jiayang Fan wrote a personal story that I think about every single day. These authors brought me solace, as good writing often does, but also a renewed sense of purpose. Stories were clarity, and proof of our shared humanity.

This is all to say that… I’m writing again! The sweet angels of Medium have offered me a platform and the freedom to write on whatever feels right. Medium is where I first started sharing posts years ago, before I ever tried to wordbend professionally. I am excited to be back! I’ll be blogging here Wednesdays and Sundays, perhaps more if something crucial happens (i.e. Taylor drops a third album).

this reference is important

Speaking of ~culture~, I’ll leave you with a few things on my mind this week:

  • The extremely gothic Pharma Bro story. I have many questions but most importantly……WHY the creepy designer photo shoot…..
  • The stimulus package that will cover exactly 2 weeks of my NYC rent
  • Ariana’s ability to keep believing in love
  • Tonight’s Great Conjunction! Get your binoculars.

Future posts will look like Q&As, advice columns, book chats, and Drake-like stream of consciousnesses (kidding, maybe). I hope these lil blogs will feel like a comfy sweater and help quell some of the Sunday Scaries. If you’ve read this far, thank you! I’m feeling optimistic for the first time in awhile. Sending all the love and light for year’s end ❤

the hopeful smile gets me

Meghan Gunn is a writer. https://www.meghangunn.com/ tweeting @95gunn

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