I am sick of COVID. I know I’m not the only one. I’m sure everyone is at their frustration point. I long to get back to being carefree and not having to wear masks. I hate feeling so confined to a disease that’s been airborne all along. When the media said it wasn’t airborne, I questioned that statement because too many people were getting sick too fast. Don’t get me started on the vaccine issues. Never in my life have I seen so many people on both sides of the fence with that topic. And the discussions are heated. It will be refreshing to get on the other side of this damn pandemic. Unfortunately, it’s not looking like that’s going to happen any time soon.
Some of the people I’m closest with are making decisions about their futures. I know I’m dealing with that same issue as well. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that none of us have any guarantees in life. Cancer, Covid, and other diseases have struck so many people I loved and cared for over the last year, and it’s made me come to grips with what I want in life. I could tell you that I want world peace, but that will never happen. The liberals and conservatives will never agree. Both sides have to prove they are never wrong. Both parties have forgotten what the terms negotiate and listen mean. Politicians have forgotten why they became elected to office in the first place. All I see is a bunch of grown-ass people bickering like rich thugs on a playground. The difference is that their decisions cost all of us in the long run. They don’t care as long as they keep getting richer if the rest of us get poorer. They want people to remain ignorant and uninformed, and it doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum you fall into because it meets their purpose. The truth is that we are all accountable for our actions. There are consequences to our decisions whether we like them or not. That’s one of the reasons that I’m stretching my abilities into areas that I wouldn’t have at other points in my life.
When I decided to study data analytics, part of me knew that I was doing a smart thing. I enjoy insights and analytics, and I love taking a brand and helping others find out about it. Marketing is fascinating to me. Covid created challenges for so many businesses, and we’ve all had to find ways to change the way we advertise. Many of us have learned to use every technological resource to our advantage. Tik Tok has become a viral platform that helps connect us with all kinds of cool tricks. The graphics are fun, quirky, and on point. Skillsets sharpen with the use of programs that allow designs to showcase a person’s talents. Youtube is still a viable tool for so many people and brands. Marketing challenges us to touch others with awareness and interest. I think that’s one of the reasons that my interest in data has taken over. I just finished course four, week four, and will be taking my course exam over the weekend.
Once I finish that course, I will be halfway through. No matter what the outcome is from completing the classes, I will feel like a million bucks. It’s taken a lot to get through these programs, and I’m grateful for the drive that I’ve had to complete them.
Several of my friends are in the same boat. A couple of them have been professional caregivers for years. They’ve both had physical issues that will prevent them from continuing from that line of work, but both women are looking for other ways to challenge themselves. One of them may have to go on disability, but she’s always had a strong work ethic. I wouldn’t count her out on anything because she’s one of the most driven women I know. When I spoke with her the other day, she looked at things she could do because she isn’t too keen on going on disability unless it’s a last resort. She’d instead work. I can’t say I blame her. There are so many things life offers that folks on disability have a much more difficult time doing. Some can’t because they either can’t afford to do the things they want, or their disabilities limit their achievement. There’s a lot to be said for mind over matter, but sometimes folks can’t overcome the point in their minds.
My other friend has been a caregiver for a very long time. It took an incident with her brother and his issues with the law that ignited her passion for studying law. She’s a five-foot-two package of dynamite. Her words are more lethal than a pen, and she has no issue calling things as she sees them. For her, his excursions with law enforcement struck a match inside her soul. She studies laws that most people ignore, and she is acutely aware of the percentages of wrongful convictions. She’s become a leader by orchestrating seminars with some of the members of the Innocence Project and created awareness of wrongful convictions in her neighborhoods. She’s joined countless organizations in a quest to further her knowledge and help others who may be struggling. She doesn’t think all police officers are bad, but she thinks the judicial system has a lot of corruption. While she doesn’t know the answers, she strives to be part of the solution instead of a hindrance. It’s that kind of drive and ambition that will help her assist others in the future.
Another close friend has children. She is looking to go back to school to seek an accounting degree. She’s exceptionally bright and has a beautiful future in front of her. She, too, has had her share of struggles but determined that her destiny doesn’t have to be one defined by a dead-end job. She wants her children to be happy, loved, and treat people with kindness. She knows the road won’t be easy, but she and her husband are committed to making their families’ dreams come true, and the pandemic will not sway them from pursuing their dreams. Everyone may have to make adjustments, but that doesn’t mean that they are willing to settle.
If this pandemic has taught my friends and me anything, it’s that settling for less than we desire isn’t an option. The inner drive comes from within. If you surround yourself with focused, driven, and supportive people, you will find ways to improve your situation. If you surround yourself with people who constantly bring you down, then your depression and anxiety will cause issues for you down the road. Depression and anxiety are known to cause serious health concerns. While not everything is a mind over matter, you have to start somewhere. Making decisions to take care of yourself should be at the top of your list. I’ve said this many times before, but you matter what’s important to you matters. Don’t sell yourself short.
Give yourself a chance to push for the things that you want. It might be something as simple as reading a book. Allow yourself to dream a little, and whatever you do, love yourself enough to create goals. Don’t let the frustration of this pandemic get you down. There are online courses available; some are even free. Challenge your minds, hearts, and those around you to learn new things. Who knows? You might find yourself mastering a topic you never thought you’d learn. Have a great day, everyone.