How I Died During The Pandemic

What’s going on everyone, it’s Michael Siervo. This month is my birthday month. Now historically I never celebrated my birthday. I never bought a cake or had a party.I never blew out candles or got a bunch of gifts from people. I can count on one hand the memories of me celebrating my birthday. To me, I didn’t want to put a spotlight on it as if today was my day. I don’t own that day. I’m not special enough to have people celebrate me. Or so I thought. That mindset has changed. You see we have just endured one of the toughest times in the world’s history. Millions of people have died due to COVID-19 both physically, financial and emotionally. This pandemic pushes many of us to the brink and for some beyond the point of no return. I was one of them. During this pandemic I died. I didn’t die the way you might think I died. What happened was that many of my old philosophies on life died. My constant drive for perfection died. My definition of living a happy life died. My insecurity and need for social acceptance died. My expectations I unfairly placed on those I cared about died. Most importantly the person I didn’t want to be, died.

In death, what was reborn from the pandemic was something better. I replaced perfection with progress knowing that perfection is impossible. I thought by now I would have everything planned out perfectly. Shit will happen. Life will happen and things will never go as planned. So instead celebrate the many wins along the journey of progress. Life might not go as perfectly as planned but remember that plans can always change for the better. My plans today are so much better than my plans of yesterday. Focusing on progress is always better than perfection because you cannot life a perfect life.   My old definition of happiness died. I like nice things but I once put such a high value on fancy things and exotic experiences. Being locked down for more than a year reminded me that material things don’t provide me with as much happiness as I once thought.  Instead my definition of a happy life was reborn and redefined as living a life on your terms without the care or worry about what other people think. Don’t get me wrong, I still work hard to enjoy nice things but it’s not the main definition of happiness to me. My insecurity and need for social acceptance died. I’m not saying that I lacked confidence. I’m just saying that like many I suffered from imposter syndrome. I wasn’t sure if I was enough. That died and was reborn in the form of self acceptance, self confidence and self love. My impossible expectations of others died as well. Empathy reminded me that like me, they might be going through something that I know nothing about. One strategy that I do on a regular basis when I see people is repeat in my head “Just Like Me”. Just like me, this person has their own goals and dreams. Just like me, this person has doubts and wants insecurities. Just like me this person deserves to live safe from judgment. Just like me this person deserves love.  

You see, the old me died. The old me never celebrated his birthday. The new me says, why not. Celebrate the fact that you’ve come a long way. You’ve gone through hell and back and you’re still standing. So yeah, I hope this reminds you to celebrate you and all your imperfect awesomeness. Maybe you died just like me. But just like me, maybe you’re more alive than ever before.

Again this is Michael Siervo. Take care. I love you and remember how awesome you are.