Why Am I Here? An Introduction to the Creation in Isolation Blog

I remember how quickly things changed: in February 2020, I was living my life as per usual. My fiance and I were planning our September wedding, a mild Virginia winter was waning, and the future was full of possibilities. Sure, there were some strange reports coming out of the international news sphere about this new respiratory disease, but it could be contained, right?
If you are reading this at its publication, you likely have your own tale of how your life turned upside down. If you are reading this years down the road, you may have some memory of what this was like if you were a younger child at its inception. If we are optimistic (and I really try to be), you may have no memory of this time or you may not have even been born. It was a strange time for all of us. Within weeks, local governments were ordering businesses to close, sending schoolchildren home for indeterminate periods of time, and panicked shoppers were stockpiling toilet paper, hand soap, and cleaning products. In the early stages of quarantine, my preteen stepdaughter would often ask: have you been through something like this before?
No, not really. I grew up in the late nineties and early aughts, and while I definitely spent a lot of my time in front of a computer screen, I never once had to worry about school being out for months on end with no clear idea of when or how we would return. Sure, there were scares with influenza, MRSA, and evacuations due to bomb threats and school shooter drills, but life returned to normal. Although I was a child who witnessed 9/11 and saw the Iraq war come to fruition, my day-to-day life was not altered the same way that it is now.
However, one thing I did in my adolescence was keep a few personal blogs. To my knowledge, some have met an end (MySpace, Diaryland and Xanga, for example) while others continue to exist in their original form. (Livejournal still exists! My LJ is still on the web packed full of teen angst from late middle school through early college. If you manage to find it, please be kind to the teen behind the screen; she was doing the best she could.) Having grown up in rural central Virginia, I had a lot of time with myself and my thoughts. In a way, self isolation reminds me of that time when my link to the outside world existed through an internet modem. In my teens, I felt trapped and all I wanted was an escape. My mental health was in shambles, my interpersonal relationships often took more from me than I received, and I counted down the days until I was on my own.
Well, here I am!
Age twenty-nine, stuck in my house since March, no end date in sight. It is what it is.
So, having had time to think about how to cope and what I enjoy, I have opted to create a blog about how I am passing the time. My focus is any activity that I have tried which is new to me; while I am sure I will break some of my own rules, my intention is to examine things that I did not try before the pandemic. There have been cooking wins, tales of fun and horror in quarantine salon, and new habits that I plan to incorporate into my routine even when the worst of this plague is behind us. I hope you laugh, cry, and otherwise enjoy the escape into my world at home.

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