Dress-Up #2 | How’s It Going?

thrifted outfit white blouse, everlane chinos, red loafers
All my IRL friends are plants now.
Thrifted Top (Similar) | Pants | Thrifted Loafers (Similar)

How’s it going?

That seems to be the question these days. Every Wednesday evening, my first-year Episcopalian group from seminary “gets together” on Zoom to check in, share our highs and lows, and see each other’s faces.

It’s an important discipline, to check in. And it’s getting harder for me – at least it was harder this week – because seeing their faces reminds me of what I’m missing in not being able to share physical space with them. It reminds me of what could have been – the what ifs – instead of forcing me to center myself in what is.

This is the fourth week of social distancing, and according to new projections, Connecticut won’t reach our peak until the end of the month. I hadn’t shared here that I got my first-choice CPE (hospital chaplaincy) internship placement, set to start in the middle of May. I’m fairly sure that’s not happening now, but I need to check in.

It’s hard to plan my life when all the basic assumptions I thought I could make about the future have been pulled out from under me. Sure, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, but, like, we sort of are. We can bet on tomorrow. And that’s how we make plans, by telling a story about what will happen and then acting on it.

Of course, of course!, feeling down about the what ifs and what-could-have-beens is not THE SAME as the overwhelming, life-threatening trauma of this situation. But it is not nothing. It is still a kind of trauma. In a way, it is also an attempt to carve out a tiny bit of control from an uncontrollable situation.

The pandemic gets closer to home every day.

There followed after Jesus a great multitude of the people, and among
them were women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning
to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep
for yourselves and for your children.”

Those who sowed with tears:
Will reap with songs of joy.

(From Stations of the Cross)

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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  1. Thank you Leah. A friend of mine said to me, “This is no different from the level of certainty we normally have about the future.” I didn’t have the words to respond but you’ve given them to me: normally, we can *bet on* the future. We don’t normally feel anxiety and total uncertainty about what to expect a day, week, month from now.

    1. Thanks for sharing that. Yes, I think we can be too hard on ourselves and try to normalize things like this. That might help some people move forward, but I know that I personally need to strike a balance between “tough” love and gentleness.

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