A blog post by MA in Leadership Studies Student Ambassador Bobbie Cox
This unexpected past year of learning how to give me grace during social distancing, face masks, and the explosion of social justice has been exhausting. In mid-March 2020, most companies considered non-essential workers in California, and all schools shuttered in a new unknown pandemic. The majority of people were forced with all their covering, code-changing skills of their identities, and different worlds stuffed within their confined homes’. Some students needed to move back home to their families while learning to create new family boundaries. The way of self-care went out of the window along with happy hour, mani-pedi selfies, and shopping as counseling for the stressed. Life was changed in every aspect of how one structured their life. Grace is expressed in how to be, yet not practiced within oneself, our families, the community, or the world.
Everyone is trying to learn how to gracefully and digitally stay close to family and friends while social distancing to keep loved ones safely healthy. As the days go by, we all started to understand the importance of mental health wellness. As the masses try to figure out how to occupy their absence of structured time, we all had craved before the pandemic yet now wishing there were projects to do in this new never-ending time. Stores ran out of art supplies, creative ways of making mac·ra·mé, new plant parents, and revamping one’s niche-identity. I believe what has once considered a niche in social media is now part of one’s attributes, which became a welcoming of your identity. So, we would not feel alone and have grace in accepting what was not considered socially acceptable previous to 2020. Amongst all these changes, we had time to see what we needed for ourselves to thrive in a life that we all learned can be taken away with a breath. Grace became a must of us all riding the same storm on different degrees of waves within our families, communities, and country.
Grace is defined as a “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, number 2-d. Social media is inundated with acknowledging and understanding yourself as a whole person, accepting all the intersectionalities that make you an optional, exceptional kind person. Accepting oneself of all the fears, failures, and imposter syndrome we have drowned in year after year until 2020. The darkness has lighted the neglect of how society dictated what shaped our acceptance. The grace of oneself is now the tea of the day in showing many they are no longer alone in this storm of social distancing that had already affected many before the pandemic took over the world. Cheers to you in navigating this brand new world of bravery in regards to mental health, originality, and having grace for oneself.