It’s crazy how things can be unpredictable. Who would have thought that March 8th would sign the last day of our taken-for-granted, run-the-streets liberty? The first of long moments of Zooming, Facetiming, Messenger-calls and home-made meals?
By Cynthia Jreige
It soon became clear that stepping out the house would be a grail dedicated to occasional grocery runs and opening the front door, a rare act leading to the sole interaction we’d get once in a while: greeting a delivery man hidden behind a face mask whose smiling eyes we could still guess with a bit of imagination and some basic empathy.
It all came so suddenly. For someone who loves working from cafes and can’t help but order overpriced fancy cappuccinos, I was left with some good ole’ instant coffee and a weak wifi that I never thought I’d cherish so much once they turned out to be a great morning fuel and only window to the outside world.
Everything around us seems so volatile. From a Lebanese Lira flying next to the highest skyscrapers, businesses collapsing even when they seemed indestructible, hunger installing itself a little bit more as the days go by and the prices go up. From a health crisis to a humanitarian emergency, feeling anything other than compassion and anxiety almost equals pleading guilty in these suffocating times we’re going through.
Nothing is guaranteed. The job that you have today might be a memory tomorrow. The drinks you drank with your friends, sipping fast before happy hour ends; that acclaimed movie you went to see, digging into your bag of salted caramel pop-corn; that pair of shoes you bought to make your legs look longer when you’d hit the dancefloor and you’d gently sway away for your crush to see; that flight you booked and cute hotel you spotted that would have offered you a much needed parenthesis in your otherwise monotone schedule. Evaporated. Like our engraved certainty that everything eventually “falls into plan”. Truth is, there is no plan. If survival. If instinct. If Carpe Diem.
Some days you wake up, ideas are bursting in your head; and as you grab your cup’a joe you tell yourself you’re going to do more today: more work, more exercise, more of what you’ve been happily pushing to later for a while. If you end up binge watching a show unworthy of your attention or order food for breakfast, lunch and dinner or neglect emails you are soon to place in your trash, you tell yourself that it’s ok, that there will always be tomorrow.
But it’s moments like now, weeks, months like now that taught me a lesson that although I knew, I sometimes ignore because well, ignorance is a bliss. Forced to admit it and look at this truth straight in the eyes, the reality is that there might not be a tomorrow. Tomorrow might be a second too late. Tomorrow you might not jump out of bed with a burning envy to conquer the world. Tomorrow might. Not. Exist. The chance that has been given to us since March 8th is a, perhaps, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To reassess. To understand what matters. To acknowledge what makes us truly happy. To know that yes, there might not be a tomorrow, at work, with your boo, in life. But that there’s always today. And we should love today as much as we (think) we’re going to love tomorrow.
We, at JDEED, would like to draw your attention to a few associations you can help during these unprecedented times, bearing in mind that some are less fortunate and are currently battling to feed their family.
“With the help of our team of young and dynamic volunteers, we provide tangible solutions, assistance and support to hundreds of Lebanese families in need, mostly around the areas of Nabaa, Karm el Zeitoun, Dora, and the main suburbs of Beirut. We aim for the reduction of inequality and exclusion of retired men and women starting the age of 64, and we hope for the alleviation of poverty in the community of senior citizens. “
Order a “Quarantine box” directly through the Toters Application. For 50.000 LBP, you’re feeding a family of 4 for a month.
Cover picture/Fritz Ofner