by Julien-Pierre “Johnny” Campbell
Toward the beginning of quarantine, I wrote a blog about blessings in disguise. I’d loved the one-on-one time with my fiancee, the laser-focus on school I’d been able to employ, the learning of my own capabilities. Now, nine months into this unprecedented time in our lives, I’m back with another list of positives.
Before I begin, I must note: I don’t take this lightly. I suffered economically, lost my job, lost a grandparent to COVID, and found out a week ago that my other grandmother was recently diagnosed with it. It is a terrible, devastating thing. I know everyone has suffered incredibly. That said, if I don’t find a little light in the darkness, I’ll go crazy.
So here is a list of quarantine blessings, round II:
-A new job: I had previously worked in a pub I fondly referred to as “the hell restaurant.” Without revealing too many details, let’s just say the place was falling apart, unsanitary, and managed poorly. I’d worked there since the age of seventeen, honestly unsure if I could ever do anything else. I was finally forced to make a move around July. My job kept me on the hook, assuring me I was still employed, while asking me to work for free and refusing to schule me when I protested. I couldn’t take it anymore! I jumped careers. I now work as a caregiver to the elderly, something I’d wanted to do since I was sixteen. I LOVE my job now. The pay is better and the work is monumentally more fulfilling. I love people, and now my entire job is to gift others with empathy and patience. It’s so rewarding.
-A new relationship: My fiancee and I finally made things official with our other partners. We’d been dancing around each other for months, and quarantine finally gave us the uninterrupted time to hash everything out. Boundaries have been laid in place, expectations have been clearly defined. I know polyamory isn’t for everyone, but it has made me so incredibly happy. I have three partners who I cherish in different ways.
-A new degree: As stated in a previous article, I’m working on the first year of my graduate degree in addition to finishing my senior year. Once undergrad is finished (and I’ve written my honors thesis), I’ll be halfway through my master’s. I’m both proud of myself and excited for direction and structure.
-A new hobby: I love learning. It’s one of my passions. I’ve developed a love for podcasts over this quarantine period, and I’m learning so much. History, science, true crime, social justice — any topic that I want to learn about is at my fingertips! I’m a little behind the times, I suppose, but it’s so exciting!
Even though this year has been difficult and devastating, there have been a lot of new and exciting opportunities. I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for me!