You can come out Bitter, or you can come out better.
Quarantine, amirite ladies...?
But for real, what a trip it has been! Never in my wildest dreams did I think this is how it would turn out either, but let us get into it kids!
When quarantine first started, myself, like many others, may have had thoughts like: “I’m gonna come out of this a whole new person. I’m going to master the guitar and piano, train my dancing to a new level, and get SO FIT!” Well... that lasted for a good 3-4 weeks, and then it all came raining down, and when it rained, it poured!
It got to a point where the only thing fluctuating more than my mood was my weight, and that rollercoaster led me down a very frightening rabbit hole of comparing myself to the warriors that I was seeing on TikTok and Instagram. These influencers were reshaping themselves in every way I wish I could be doing. How could it be that these people were getting so ripped, and learning so many amazing things like baking, or music, or fricken finances? All the while, I was just sitting there trying to get the motivation to smile!
After a few highs and lows, I started thinking to myself, maybe getting control of my emotions is going to be my quarantine growth story. How underwhelming, right? These people are going to be able to say that they started a business, or finished a degree, or learned an entire language, and I’m going to get to say I learned to control my emotions....... neat!
Nevertheless, I sat with how I was feeling, and then ultimately decided to stop comparing myself to others, and make the most out of what I was given. Mind you, this is also when the protesting started, and it was all right in my backyard (ok so it was 35 min north, but you get it). So now here I am, the only one in my family who is queer, liberal, and invested in equal rights, supporting BLM and protesting while my mostly republican family is posting about how bad the riots are and how Trump is an ok guy if you give him a chance. 🥴
When I tell you it sucked, I mean sucks like the first batch of bloodthirsty Minnesota mosquitos when it is hot and muggy and you’re stuck outside trying to swat for your life...It really is not something that you want to sit through!! I knew it was only a matter of time before I became public enemy number one, and oh boy! when that moment came, it didn’t let up, and truthfully still hasn’t.
Family members who will remain anonymous came at me with every weak argument and biased counterpoint against my support for the movement and my political values that you could possibly imagine. I had an argument get so bad, that it will probably go down as one of the most traumatic nights of my adult life. Luckily, I had already come to the realization that my quarantine growth story was more of an inner process healing for me than anything else - so that's what I did. I healed myself with the help of friends, prayers, and crystals, and I dealt with my trauma and the years of suppressed trauma that came with it.
Here I was battling demons from 2005 and fighting off ignorant small-town white Minnesotians. Simultaneously, I was dealing with my own shit, AND I even had to put a dog down. It was the fight of my life. I have never sobbed so uncontrollably in my entire life, and if you know me, you know that I never cry! Yet, here I was, crying every ten minutes like clockwork, so much so that I dehydrated myself. It was a super glamorous time for me! Through everything that was happening in these moments, I kept my carrying head high, begged God to help a brother out, and kept tracking along with my inner self-work at the forefront. I sat with myself, acknowledged my emotions, allowed myself to feel everything before I dove into forgiveness.
I forgave my family for being trash to me, I forgave myself for not handling every situation perfectly, and I forgave God for leaving me with self-work while others got way cooler growth stories. Now, I have only freshly emerged from this trauma and healing, but the difference in myself is already unreal! I can feel how I carry myself better, and treat myself kinder, and trust myself more! No longer do I let my anxious thoughts and negative self-image run my life. No longer do I doubt my worth or rely on the fact that I am a hard-worker to make me feel like I have a purpose. No longer do I let my worth rely on my productivity!
In this moment, I feel so blessed that I was gifted this quarantine journey because now I know that I am ready for anything and everything that is coming my way! I have healed years and years of wounds in a matter of weeks. I have solidified relationships with family members and shown them what unconditional love looks like. I have gotten more out of this seemingly irrelevant journey than I ever could have imagined, and HAVE come out a whole new person.
So now... I’ll gladly take mastering myself over the task of mastering an instrument. Sure, I won’t get to show off any cool new skills once this madness ends, but I will be able to give myself fully to the people I love, shout louder for the voiceless, fight harder for the underprivileged, and be a force of love, strength, and kindness for anyone who needs me, including myself! I have come out better instead of bitter and will forever be grateful for this journey!
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