Together but apart

On my mind

It’s day ??? of working from home and quarantine life. Every day, we’re hearing new reports about positive cases and deaths, testing delays, hope for new vaccines, conflicting information about social distance policies, massive layoffs and unemployment claims, logistical nightmares at grocery stores, healthcare professionals lacking proper equipment to protect themselves on the job…

In my own life, I’m looking ahead at how many weeks everything may still be shut down, the number of events and plans that have been canceled and the likelihood that I will not be spending Ramadan or Eid with my family. I worry about my mom working in a hospital and my elderly and high-risk relatives.

It’s overwhelming to say the least but all I can do is take things day by day and be grateful that I have a home, enough food and water, a job and supportive people to keep me going. Seeing all the creative ways everyone is trying to maintain intimacy, connection and support through virtual means is also encouraging. There are also so many people working around the clock to treat patients, tackle the virus and support people who are suffering. Always look for the helpers, as Mister Rogers would say. Even in isolation, you can feel the energy of everyone trying to be just a little bit closer.

Here are some words by Morgan Harper Nichols I’d like to offer for some comfort.

I hope you know that looking for Light in everything does not mean seeing how everything will suddenly be perfect or easy. ⁣I hope you know on days like today, looking where the Light pours in is realizing what a gift it is to be alive, once again. Even in uncertainty, you have capacity for joy. You have the capacity to give love to others in small, yet meaningful ways. Your text messages matter here. Your ability to turn up the music matters here. Your heart to make room to grieve and rejoice with others matters so much more than you know. There are books to write and projects to complete, and there are also a thousand opportunities to say, “I have been there, too, and I just want you to know you’re not alone in what you’re going through.”⁣

Because even in your feelings of hopelessness, you are not alone in this. And sometimes you will notice Light pouring in when you receive a text from a friend.⁣

I hope⁣
you see Light⁣
in big ways⁣
and I hope you notice Light⁣
in the morning sun,⁣
letting every new morning⁣
create room for small joys⁣
and I hope for each of us⁣
to overcome.⁣

MHN⁣

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March 26, 2020

What I’m noting

  • 📺 Self-Made // This week, I started watching the Netflix series, Self Made, inspired by the life of Madam C.J. Walker, a black hair care pioneer and the first Black, self-made female millionaire. Apparently the series, which stars Octavia Spencer, has some historical inaccuracies, but I’ve been enjoying the show so far, and am going to wait to read any critiques until after I’ve finished lol.

  • 🎮Games You Can Play Together But Apart // Full disclosure, I am selfishly including this link so I can find people who want to play some of these online games with me from Codenames to Draw Something. Let’s be social from a distance!

  • 😔That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief // This was so validating to read and offers some ways to manage the stages of grief, particularly anticipatory grief.

“We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”


Hope you’re staying safe and healthy wherever you are in the world. Let me know what’s getting you through the pandemic from books to music to recipes to workouts, so I can feature them in an upcoming newsletter. You can always hit reply to this email if you want to share or just say hi :)

Have a good weekend!

— Nesima

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