COVID-19 Diaries: I Am The Lottery

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I see my reflection on the dirty powder room mirror and pause, really pause. The face staring back at me is beautiful. Perhaps it is the lighting or the two years of sticking to a walking routine or just the effect of being indoors all the time for over a month. I like what I see. The planes of my jaw, the reduced bags under my eyes, the contours of a face I have grown to unsee.

A week ago, I went around my home with my phone video on, asking everyone what they thought about the pandemic. The answers ranged from the silly to the profound. My husband wiggled out of it as always by stating nothing has changed. His life, pandemic notwithstanding is what it always has been. Long past turning the video off and putting the phone away, I peppered him with questions, astounded that he felt his life was unchanged in any meaningful way.

He quipped that “major life changes happen to people who win the lottery. If I had won the lottery, I will expect my life to be irreversibly changed by what is happening now. We are average people. We will ride it out.” His belief in the law of averages is grounded in his analytical brain.

“I am your lottery,” I quipped back and went about whatever else I was doing at that time. The force of my response stayed with me until I took the time to pause, inspect and turn it over in my head late at night when the demands on my person and mind were fewer.

It hit me that I totally believed in that statement. I am the lottery. I am his lottery.

For someone who has battled body image issues, for someone who loathed herself all through her growing years abetted by everyone around her, this is an incredible place to be in.

The idea that I am not just worthy but worthy in a unique way that changes the trajectory of other people’s lives is a revelation. The force of that realization is still rocking me in the best way possible.

I talk about self-acceptance to my children.

“You do you!”

“Be yourself.”

The platitudes are thrown casually. I mean them in an offhand way, in a way that I think constant repetition will make them believe things I have not fully internalized myself.

Today I feel like I am finally there. The next time I say it, it will be backed by conviction. I will add to the list – “You are the lottery.”