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Valid Feelings

I recently came to the difficult realization that my Europe trip will mostly likely not be happening this year, due to COVID-19. This, for me, is heart breaking.

However, a part of me feels really shallow (and border-line ridiculous) that I have spent so much time crying over my change in plans. I am not sick. No one I know has died from the virus. I am doing ok financially. I am loved and not alone through all this. And my trip is not cancelled, it is simply postponed.

My sorrow feels unjustified.

I feel like I should be forcing myself into feeling grateful that my life is going along fairly normally despite the hardship and chaos the world is currently facing. But in the end, we are all mourning right now. My feelings are not invalid. I am allowed to be sad.

Honestly, we are all in mourning... the cancelling and delays of weddings and graduations, summer fests and baby showers, have affected us all. We are mourning the loss of seeing and having fun with family members and friends. Our jobs have been uprooted, our annual traditions have been broken, and we’re no longer able to travel without fear. We are being hit with a loss of security and freedom like we have never experienced before. So if you are feeling low over any of these things — even something as simple and “insignificant” as a birthday celebration or Friday happy hour — I remind you that it’s perfectly acceptable to feel the way you do. Yes, other people may be experiencing horrible outcomes of the world shutdown, but that does not belittle nor negate your experience.

I have been working toward my Europe excursion for years now, which I’ve wanted to take since I was a little girl. I’ve planned and plotted, bought plane tickets, searched attractions, read up on local hot-spots, made a list of to-do’s in preparation of traveling, and marked my calendar with destination dates. And now all of it will have to be scrapped and redone for next year instead. It’s a massive disappointment. I huge life disruption. And I’m allowed to mourn.

Be sad. Be angry. Be disappointed.

Then when you’re ready, take a deep breath... and prepare for your altered future with fresh hope.

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