The city that never sleeps has been sleeping for 4 weeks. I’ve lived in NYC my entire life, and I’ve never seen my city this sad.
In one fell swoop, the world has changed. Huge corporations are on the brink of bankruptcy. Small businesses around the world are suffering on a massive scale. My own included. Just when I felt like my career was finally on its way up, after a lot of hard work, everything came to a rapid halt.
I had to let my team go for the sake of longevity of my company. Though I know it is only temporary, it was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made as a business owner. Deals that my team and I poured ample time and money into, deals that we’ve been working on for a year – postponed until further notice.
Surprisingly, on the business end, I feel ok. A bit shaken, figuring out damage control and pivoting strategies, disappointed, but overall ok, even though my dollars are temporarily suffering. I know Team ESC will adapt to the new economy and towards shifting consumer behaviours and will come back stronger than ever. Had my business not come crashing down once before, I don’t think I’d be handling this crash as well. But the accident taught me perspective. It taught me that as long as I have my health, I am resilient and I will make it through all, stronger, wiser, and better. When the accident happened and my business (and life) came crashing down, I was in it alone. The world continued while my business and my heart suffered. This time, at least I’m in good company. I hate to say it but it is a little comforting knowing I am not suffering alone this time.
But on the personal front, I feel scared and unstable. I left my apartment in the beginning of March when we first got quarantined. I had the opportunity to stay at my sister’s empty and significantly larger apartment with outdoor space and figured it was the best decision for mine and my kids’ sanity. I was expecting to be gone for 2 weeks. Little did I know I’d more or less be leaving my home of the last 3 years forever. It makes me sad. I was always intending on leaving in July, as my landlord is selling, but I never thought it would be under these circumstances. I thought it would involve a happy farewell party, and a move into a new home. This apartment represented my freedom, my new life, and when I transitioned my kids from marriage to divorce, I went above and beyond to ensure they did not feel instability through the transition. I was much more prepared. After careful consideration, I made the decision that it would be the most fiscally responsible decision to move out 2 months early. I pay astronomical rent and I’m not living there, and my landlord is allowing me to break my lease. Though extremely hard, this decision will put me in the best financial situation for when the world comes out of this mess. I am grateful for my family that I even have this opportunity. But my children are sad. They keep crying to me. They do not understand why we left our home and why we won’t be returning. They do not understand the Corona monster. They do not understand why they can’t go outside. This is exactly the instability I tried to shield them from when I was getting divorced. But these circumstances are beyond my control, and I could not have been prepared to shield them this time. As mothers, by nature, we try to shield our children from harm. This time, they can’t be shielded. This time, they will learn that all they need to make it through is love and health. This time, my children will learn resilience, perhaps one of the most important lessons to learn.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and even this pandemic is a blessing in disguise. I know I will come out of this having learned many valuable lessons and my children will come out of this strong.
If you’re feeling sad, disappointed, confused… just know you are not in it alone. Pat yourself on the back for even the smallest accomplishments, including getting out of bed. And take inventory of all you have to be grateful for. With the right attitude, we will all come out of this stronger than ever.