- Countries Visited: 9
- Travel Wishlist: My travel wishlist includes living in New Zealand on a travel/work visa for 6 months, Argentina, Chile, Croatia and Denmark
- Locked down in: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“It has been such a hard year but I feel as though I have finally figured out who I am and what I stand for throughout it.”
In January of 2020 I had finally gotten a job I had always wanted as a venue coordinator. I had wanted to work in events for years and all my hard work had finally paid off. By March of 2020 I was getting excited for all the summer events we had booked. I also had a big trip booked to Coachella in April to see my favourite artist of all time Frank Ocean. It was looking like it was going to be an incredible summer. Then slowly our summer events started getting cancelled, with people stating the fears of COVID-19. My boss thought people were overreacting, there was no need to cancel. As someone who had closely been following what doctors were saying I wasn’t so sure if people were overreacting. Then on Thursday March 12th we were sent to work from home, little did I know this would be the last time I would ever be in this office. By the end of March I had been laid off on a 25 person zoom call, and by May I had been permanently let go. There was no place for events in our new reality, so I was left unemployed and completely unsure of what my next steps would be.
At first it felt devastating to have the job I had worked so hard for ripped away from me. I felt so completely lost and unsure of what to do at the start of COVID. I left Toronto to go back to my parents house in London, ON. As someone with a severe chronic illness who is on immunosuppressive medication I was forced to stay at home, not even able to go to the grocery store under doctor’s orders. So all I could do was sit around and think.. As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety for a very long time, sitting alone with my thoughts for months on end while the world felt like it was burning was not a good idea. I felt completely hopeless and devastated. The only real light in my life was my 4 month old niece who was born in January 2020. While at home I spent as much time with her and my family as possible.
Then one day I finally decided to ask someone for help. I realized I was not in a good place and couldn’t do it alone. This was the best decision I have ever made. With COVID all mental health services had been moved online, so it was much easier to go to appointments. I also had all the time in the world since I was unemployed. I was able to see multiple mental health professionals and was finally diagnosed with OCD on top of my already diagnosed depression and anxiety. For the first time in my life I understood why I thought the way I did. Things all started to make more sense. Then I was offered the chance to enroll in a 12 week group therapy program. I nervously accepted the spot. I’m happy to say that the program changed my life. I learned so much and finally didn’t feel alone.
Throughout all of this I was able to step back and really analyze what I cared about in life. I have my degree in Justice Studies and realized that even though I have been away from that work for a bit, that is what I am truly passionate about. I was able to realize how much a sense of community means to me. I came back to Toronto in August of 2020 and I joined multiple organizations that focus on grassroots activism. I’ve been to more protests, phone zaps, and zoom organizing calls then I can count over the last year. I have finally found a group of people that are just as passionate about changing the world as I am.
This last year has been extremely hard but through it I was able to really realize how much love and support I have from all my friends, family and organizations in my life. I am currently involved in the fight for paid sick days in Ontario, prison abolition, and pharmacare for all. I am still unemployed and actively looking for a job. However I feel as though I don’t have as much pressure on myself. Whatever job I end up getting, I know who I am and I know I am doing work I care about outside of that. It has been such a hard year but I feel as though I have finally figured out who I am and what I stand for throughout it.