Through The Looking Glass

By: Adair Bingham

This summer—not to mention the first, second, and third quarter of this year—have been unlike any other that I’ve experienced. Things were rocky from the start, to say the least. My beloved childhood dog passed away. I’ve had a handful of family emergencies between February and the present—everything from heart-stopping virus scares to the existential dread of day-to-day life in a pandemic. And to finally top it off, Oregon, while still in the clutches of COVID-19, was unceremoniously hit with a string of wildfires, requiring me and my family to evacuate as a precautionary measure.

These eye-opening events have shaken me to my core, but I’m still standing and still actively working towards my future. All of these life-changing events have given me the opportunity to reflect on myself, and just exactly how I’ve gotten to where I am today. My accomplishments, my failures, my past and even my future. This is a bizarre and unparalleled time for everyone, I’m well aware of that. But, for me, this extended “staycation” has left me with an uncomfortable amount of time to reflect on just about everything that has occurred in my life to this point, as well as the rapidly changing climate that surrounds me.

Having to hurriedly pack my belongings and necessities into cardboard boxes as my phone warned me to prepare for evacuation measures shook me to my core. It offered a much-needed perspective, that change can come at a moment’s notice in a most unexpected way. It clarified to me that nothing is set in stone and that things will always be changing, no matter the precautions we take. My willingness, and ability, to work with such a sudden change showed me that adaptability and patience are crucial, especially during these trying times. It showed me that, in spite of everything you have endured in your life, there is always a future waiting for you, and that constant productivity isn’t necessarily the means to securing it. 

This feeling won’t last forever, I know that, and with friends and family keeping in touch with me, I know that this is something that I can overcome. In times such as this, I can’t help but think of a classic phrase, “This too shall pass,” and through the looking-glass, I am certain that these feelings of anxiety and fear shall be shaken soon. I know that we will all overcome this together, one step at a time, in spite of the overbearing hurdles that lay in our path. If I can overcome the hardships that life has to offer, then so can you, and we will all be stronger for doing so. Change is difficult, but a willingness to embrace and learn from it is what will ideally secure a means to an end for this pandemic, if not a much-needed end to everyone’s anxieties. 

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