I recently read an article in Town and Country titled, “How much money are the rich willing to spend to feel normal this fall?” And while the question and conversation did warrant a rolling of the eyes, it was also an inflection point for me. Reading that, “for those fortunate enough to have had their financial security and physical health largely unaffected by the coronavirus crisis, the biggest change may be psychological; watching a global pandemic play out against the backdrop of the country’s reckoning on race and inequality is bringing to the surface a latent midlife crisis, or simply a crisis of conscience.”
I was also struck by a thought later in the article from Emily Green, a private wealth manager at Ellevest, who said that “high-powered women across industries are wanting to change jobs as a result of having spent the last several months at home reflecting on the state of the world… they now want to do something more aligned with their personal values.” It reminded me of my own journey.
Every moment in our lives can present a good time for reflection, but hardship often prompts insight into deeper and more hidden parts of ourselves and the lives we want to live. Since the pandemic was declared in March, I’ve been reflecting on my world, and about the world. I consider, “what are the decisions I can make today, that are reflective of the future world I want to live in?”
These quiet moments of reflection take me back to the last recession. In 2007 I was 25, newly married, and facing harsh realities. My husband lost his livelihood, and the abuse I was experiencing at his hands began to reach fever pitch. I worked in the art world in a job that was fun and fast paced, but something was gnawing at me on the inside. I had a desire to do more.
I didn’t know what that more was, but I knew that the situation I was in, wasn’t what I had envisioned. I eventually filed for divorce and started to begin the search for new work. I was hired by an NGO, and my new path began-–leading me to find a lifelong passion to share my lived experience with others, and work towards a world where women and girls live lives freer from violence. I found this in the dark of despair and loneliness; in the place of quiet I was able to find a future that gave me hope. I found purpose, solidarity, and so much more.
In our moment of social reckoning, where all the ills are bubbling to the surface and being laid bare, I draw inspiration from the movements taking the mainstream space, highlighting the glaring inequities that the pandemic has made impossible to ignore. It’s certainly a time for action, but perhaps we all can benefit from a moment of quiet reflection.
I’ll ask you the same question: what is the future world you want to live in, and what decisions can you make today that reflect that future world?