A friend, who happened to miss a lot of our outings and times we hung out, sent me a comic of sorts today. It was about how when the world will go back to normal, they’ll try to show up more. It got me thinking, though.
Perhaps, the reason I’ve been so content during this time of lockdown, besides my apparent privilege, is because I always did it all. It sounds a bit smug, I’m sure, but I’ve rarely missed meeting other people. In fact, at one point, it quite literally became my reputation. If I said I’ll be there, there had to be a grave reason for why I couldn’t show up. I always showed up. Perhaps, that is why I am not as sad.
If I missed something, there had to be something else that physically made it impossible for me to be in two places. Otherwise, I spent my days from cab to cab, bus to bus, flight to flight, and I showed up. I showed up tired, exhausted even, and I could get drunk with friends and get my work done late at night and that was fine by me.
It makes me laugh when I remember changing clothes in a booth in an airport or at a bus station or even a mall, and brushing my teeth wherever I could, and renting a cheap hotel just to get a shower, and making sure I arrived.
Perhaps, that was the secret, not that I knew it until now.
You couldn’t be happy all the time but you could be content. You could be content knowing that when someone needed you for a shoulder, for having a laugh, for a cup of coffee, or for losing your shit out with some beer, that you showed up. Nothing was more important; nothing can ever be more important.
When life goes back to normal because it will, a friend might invite me to something, and I’ll tell them, “I won’t miss it for the world”, and I won’t, no matter where I am in the world. I’ll be there, even if I have to cycle cross country or spend the night at a bus station or take six flights in a row. I’ll be there.
What else is there to do?