The quarantine chronicles: Week 27

Published September 25, 2020, 4:30 PM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

 It is without a doubt that in the last six months, a lot of things came to a halt. Most plans were cancelled all of a sudden, while others were delayed and/or postponed, as the world seemingly shutdown all together for a few weeks. When I think back to March and April, I think back to weeks and days that still passed us by, yes, but that were ridden with utmost uncertainty, clouded with anxiety, taken over by fear – of both the virus and most definitely the unknown – and for a lot of us, skepticism on how the near future would turn out. For a while, a lot of us were paralyzed by shock, and taken aback by how our worlds changed so drastically overnight. We had no choice but to relinquish control to government leaders, health experts, and the authorities who made decisions that affected our every day.

Today, we still make plans with a mindset that there is a chance of it being altered, cancelled, or changed. Yet, at least on a personal note, I have grown to believe even more that what is meant to be will indeed happen. Faith precedes all, that is for sure, but we also have to put in that focus and mindset to overcome to get us by. After a slump of the first few weeks of quarantine, I finally convinced myself that a routine was not enough. I needed to have output still, and be productive in the midst of all the chaos. After all, my productivity level is something I had a hundred percent control over, and why not hang on to whatever little we had left, right?

So off I went to work towards ticking another dream of my bucket list from the confines and comforts of home. I have always wanted to write a book, and what better time to do so than the quarantine when I had ample uninterrupted (for the most part) time on my hands. Not only did I end up fulfilling a dream of mine in a most unprecedented time; I had the honor of writing about one of my life’s greatest influences and heroes – my grand-aunt Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal – who she was to me and the work of her foundation in Bicol that continues to perpetuate her legacy. I am thankful to Father Wilmer Tria for facilitating this most meaningful project, and to the Ateneo de Naga University Press for their wholehearted trust in me to write about a woman who means so much for their Bikolnon Biography series. Truly, it reminded me to seek the silver lining in all that I do, and in the midst of working on it, I felt a lightness of being come upon me. Indeed, we, as humans, all live to realize our purpose, and knowing that we have one on a daily basis somehow makes us feel alive. It gives us that zest to keep on going, and in a time that can be so mundane, monotonous, and regimented, it most definitely gave me the fulfillment I unknowingly but longingly sought.

I choose to share my quarantine project with all of you not with the intention of advertising or bragging, but with the hope of reminding everyone that there will always be some sort of goodness born even in the darkest of days. I hope this somehow encourages those of you who are downtrodden to get up, slowly but surely, because it all begins with getting up in the morning with the mindset and motivation to get things done. Set tangible daily goals for yourself as not to get overwhelmed, and you will be surprised at how the compounded small actions get you farther than you think.

At a time that can be so stressful and exhausting, you owe it to yourself to seek out whatever strengths you have that will not only power you through, but that will give you that sense of purpose and fulfillment to journey on. After all, you create your own happiness, and what is life without meaning?