“Keep Living and Find What Makes You Happy” Guest Blogger: Jade Diouf

Read time: 3 min

A picture in side profile of the author, Jade Diouf, a woman with dark curly hair. She has sunglasses on her head. She is smiling and the sun is shining on her face.

I think the fact that I’m listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 Allegretto while writing this gives you some insight into how I’m dealing with this quarantine.

 

The overwhelming consensus is for us to use this time to pick up a new craft, take a class on something we’ve always been interested in, or finally sit down and watch that television show we’ve been meaning to get to. Have I found comfort in this outlook? Absolutely. I’m trying to learn music production, I’m looking into taking a creative writing class of some sort, and I finally finished Big Little Lies. Do I expect to be really good at the former two things? Absolutely not. But I guess that’s not really the point because at least for now those activities are keeping me busy and entertained in a reality I had never anticipated for my second semester.

 

I’ve always been used to the idea that if I’m not dancing, I’m sleeping, but now the reality is, if I’m not dancing, it’s still mid-afternoon and it’s nowhere near the acceptable time to go to bed. Sure, it’s great to have the time to appreciate life but that can feel like a daunting task when we’re expected to stay inside; I really want to take advantage of this opportunity to find other things that make me happy but that’s hard to do when so much of what made me joyful was growing as an artist and human being alongside my friends.

 

So besides exploring “intellectual” activities to keep busy, I’ve been finding solace in reading books and poems; doing yoga in my bedroom; talking with my extended family; riding my bike around the neighborhood; and curating copious Spotify playlists (follow me at my amusingly long username, jaded123456789). I have also really enjoyed encouraging myself to watch critically acclaimed movies – rather than Aquamarine for the 30th time – and debating their underlying, abstract premise(s) over Zoom. This effort has been more inspiring than anticipated because it has led to digital artistic endeavors I’m undertaking with some of my classmates. It also needs to be said that two of my friends and I have bridged our communication gap by making podcast episodes for each other.

 

Whether we’re just narrating our life’s story or talking about what we had for breakfast, it makes for the perfect way to feel like we’re still a part of each other’s lives. Though I am incredibly thankful to be safe at home, it doesn’t have to mean the end of enjoying life. I encourage you to continue living and find what makes you happy:

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final” Rainer Maria Rilke.