“Surviving the pandemic” is the new “uphill both ways”

Two people and one dog climbing a steep mountain
Two people and one dog climbing a steep mountain
Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

Dearest (hypothetical) future daughter (or son),

I see it clearly. You and your friends are surfing a more advanced version of the internet that I struggle to understand. You start reading about the 2020 Pandemic. It is part of a history project in grade 4. You joke about people stockpiling toilet paper and cheese (the former likely because of the latter…). You begin giggling amongst yourselves as you read about people Lysol-wiping groceries. You laugh, but we didn’t know then that that was overkill. I assume historians will capture the wildfires, royal abdication, U.S.


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Photo by Ali Abdul Rahman on Unsplash

You know that feeling where you want to speak,

But the words you hold feel too heavy to share.

The pieces of you that you could keep

to yourself or just let out

There are some things

you must go through alone

And others

where collaboration is key

What do you do when the line is blurry

When two heads or one feel equal

I tend to ask for what I need

And can go it on my own as well

What about those times when together is possible,

but I truly should be alone?

Or the times when the…


Grayscale shadowy figure of a person walking by a stone wall
Grayscale shadowy figure of a person walking by a stone wall
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

Why am I missing you?

Why do I use these words?

Why not longing, craving, or wanting from afar?

Is it because of the times I don’t cross your path?

Like a bus I didn’t catch

Or a meeting ending just as I arrive

An elegant bird flying off in the periphery

A sock whose match cannot be found

A plane landed without you

Chests and arms un-pressed

The presence of you absent at a table

A whole set of dishes left un-dirtied

The times and places of co-existing together

In moments of joy, communion, & happiness

That don’t happen.

That can’t be found.

Is this the missed in missing?

I and you should’ve been together

But our times are separated,

In places far apart

If only time could bend

And our places were the same

I would just love and not miss you

Now I do both


Five ways I’m branching out beyond my social media bubble and why

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Photo by Melissa Westbrook on Unsplash

I don’t have a green thumb. At various stages of my life, I have tried to be a plant mom and failed. I can keep plant babies alive temporarily, but inevitably I have one bad week of unregulated pruning or watering. It stresses them out to the point that they no longer want to be green. Recently, I have found that making it a habit to check on them helps. Who knew? (Today, they look a little wilt-y. But I am trying!)

I’ve noticed it’s also hard to cultivate meaningful conversations with people, too — particularly those I don’t already…

Ashlea Morgan

I‘m a writer ✍🏿 & neurobiology Ph.D. candidate 🧠 studying a mechanism behind how we think & behave flexibly. Grateful 🙏🏿 for family, friends, & food ❤️.

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