Southeast Missouri State University student publication


Thursday, April 23, 2020
Samantha Wakitsch works from the back porch on Monday, April 20 in Johnsburg, Illinois.
Photo illustration by Samantha Wakitsch

It is about a month into all of this craziness, and I really couldn’t tell you what exactly is going through my head.

Every single day is different.

One day, I feel like I am one step closer to having my life all figured out … and the next, I am laying in my bed eating Pringles and crying because I just don’t know what to make of it.

I am sure all of you can relate; this whole thing has us just thrown for a loop. Our lives have changed drastically in a multitude of ways, and the worst part is that it is not clear if and when things are ever going to go back to “normal”.

But, as I try my best day after day to make sense of it all, I try to focus on one specific aspect that brings me just a little bit of clarity — and that is what I wanted to share with you all today.

I know we aren’t all writers, and I am not saying that we all should be. But, what brings me back to reality in those emotional moments of uncertainty is focusing on those aspects of my life that I am thankful for. Personally, I do this by taking five minutes before I go to sleep and writing three bullet points in my journal about what I am thankful for that day.

Identifying and listing those things has allowed me to set a foundation for myself to remind me that things could be worse and that even in this bizarre global pandemic we are all living through, I AM LUCKY.

I know it totally sounds cliche. And you are right, it is. But there is something so completely grounding about being able to identify positive attributes of my life in a scary and hectic time.

It also allows you to do your part.

What do I mean, exactly? Well, part of the reason that I thought I was going crazy at the beginning of all of this is that I felt like I had no control over my life and the different elements in it. I am sure you have probably had a similar feeling. But when I really thought about it, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

We have control over our own minds, our own outlooks and our own perspectives.

So if the only thing that I can control is the way that I am framing all of this bizarre craziness that took my life at college away from me and put in my dad’s basement is by writing three things I am thankful for on a piece of paper, then that is what I am going to do.

And by no means is that what you have to do! My point in all of this is just to remind you that you all have more control than you think. You have the ability to bring yourself back down when your emotions are heightened, and you owe it to yourself to find the positives in your life during this crazy time.

And for today, the three things that I am thankful include but are not limited too:

All of you beautiful souls that let me do what I love. Having those who read my writing and support me is truly something that I am so grateful for.

The weather is getting nicer! There is something so refreshing about being able to sit outside and not be cooped up in the house.

My family. So many people are going through tremendous heartbreak right now watching their loved ones fight this awful virus, so the health of my loved ones is something I am beyond thankful for.

Your turn!