Our (LOOOCKDOWN) Stories
‘Man In The Mirror’
‘I’m Starting With The Man In the Mirror’
I was so surprised when I heard honking cars at my house. I looked outside and I saw a bunch of my friends with signs and balloons honking and yelling “Congratulations!” It was May 1, 2020 and was supposed to be the day that I graduated from college. From the time I was in kindergarten, I had had a huge expectation of what college graduation would be like, so I worked hard for almost sixteen years to achieve it. I worked hard for this one moment and it did not happen, at least not the way I anticipated and planned……but, why?
I had just come off of one of the best shows I had ever done, it was Annie the Musical and I played Lily St. Regis. A bunch of my friends were in the show and I made lasting memories. The show closed and I soon left for my last semester in college. I had worked extra, extra hard and was graduating in just 3 years. I was excited. Excited to be finishing school, excited for graduation, and super excited to bask in the Summer of 2020 as a college graduate! But, in March everything came to a screeching halt. I mean everything. I was sent home from school, as classes moved online, the new show I was in was pretty much canceled, my brother and sister were permanently home from school, my parents closed their daycare, church was closed, restaurants were closed, movies and hair and nail salons were closed. Life as I knew it STOPPED in its tracks.
Suddenly, people who were my friends stopped asking to hang out because there was nowhere to go. My mom was constantly freaking out about hand sanitizer and face masks. My sister who was usually going on and on about being a high school senior was always fighting back tears of sadness because her graduation was moved to online. My dad actually had more time to “remodel” our downstairs bathroom. I went on social media to escape seeing and talking with my family all the time and people were sharing funny memes about toilet paper while others shared different ways to stay safe.
People were acting like the world was ending.
So many of us decided to stay home for over three months because of this disease that would kill us all if we stepped foot out of our houses. It almost seems like something we would see in a movie! For three months we said the lines and acted the parts we were given and were told to “go back to normal” right after. Throughout this lockdown people started to realize that the way things were before were not even good and that they wanted some change, so then it became “I hope things are better than they were before”. But, the change we all want should start within us. Michael Jackson said it himself, “ I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to make a change and no message could have been any clearer, if you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change.” It starts with each of us looking at ourselves, questioning our actions and seriously self-reflecting on these past few months. I owe that to my family, friends, and those I choose to surround myself with. It can be easy to believe all the shared Facebook posts and look at the numbers given on the news and be terrified.
We all have a choice. Question the rumors being spread like wildfire. Question everything. We all want change, but we all want to point the finger at who’s responsible for the way we live now. Our communities need to hold each person accountable. Challenge what we see on social media, challenge the news, and most importantly don’t be afraid to challenge each other. People need to start digging deeper into what “everyone’s talking about” or what “everyone’s doing”. As we reflect on these few months in lockdown, we all have a great opportunity and also responsibility to make a change, and that starts within us. The “man in the mirror” needs to make a change.