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  • Writer's pictureKaite Olund

Managing Uncertainty

Hello my wonderful friends. It's been a few months now since I last posted, and all it took was a worldwide pandemic to get me writing again.

What a wild couples of weeks it has been. I know I'm not alone in feeling confused or scared, and if I can be human for a moment here, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. I've rapidly tried to transition to meeting with clients digitally instead of in-person, and I'm going on about a week now of social distancing. There are moments when I just want to cry, for myself, for the world, and some moments where I'm pretty okay with getting to binge watch anime and cross stitch to my heart's content. It depends on the hour.

None of this is easy. There is no manual on how to navigate private practice (or life) during a crisis of this magnitude. Whether you are an "essential worker" trying to stay safe, a parent trying to balance working from home while teaching your kids, a college or high school student mourning the loss of your graduation, or anyone else on the grand spectrum of life, things are extremely difficult right now. Whatever emotions you are feeling, please know that they are valid.

Today, feeling stir-crazy from isolation, I decided to go outside and sit by the body of water near my house. Nature is soothing for me, and I was in need of some very literal grounding. As I took in my surroundings, feeling the ground underneath me, breathing in the cool air, I tried to anchor myself in the present moment. Although I briefly saw one older couple taking a walk together, probably trying to silence their isolation just like I was, I was otherwise completely alone.

That is, until a little chickadee decided to land nearby, maybe few feet away. If you don't know, chickadees are kind of my thing. The tattoo that I have on my entire upper arm is a scene of chickadees, hanging out in some holly. I got this tattoo for two symbolic reasons:

1. Chickadees are hella adaptable. They are able to survive harsh Midwest winters due to their ability to lower their body temperature to match the climate they currently find themselves in. Umm, RAD!

2. Chickadees are curious, like ridiculously curious. Even thought they are wild birds, it is fairly easy to have a chickadee come land in your hand to eat some seeds. They are like the poster child for being open to new experiences.

So in this moment, when I was feeling completely alone, I had this chickadee offer me some company. And I felt strangely at peace. Maybe it was a reminder of how I've survived situations in my life that I never thought that I would be able to recover from. Maybe it was a reminder to stay curious, even in the face of uncertainty. That uncertainty doesn't always mean danger, but rather possibility. Maybe I'm just projecting and desperately looking for whatever semblance of an answer I can find. Who's to say?

I don't know what tomorrow will look like or when our lives will go back to what they once were, but I do know that I am in control of how I chose to react. I know that I will continue to try and approach this uncertainty with curiosity, to lean into the unknown and find creative solutions. I know that, together, we will get through this.

Please take care of yourselves and others. We're all in this together.

<3 Kaite

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