In one more week, I will have spent 35 days quarantining at hotels, first in Norfolk Virginia, then Manama Bahrain, and now Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. As they say in Indonesian AYOOO! It is so funny because when I went to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport Rhode Island, every class has a slogan which they fashion into their shirts when they go through the training. Our slogan was: “Things Could Always be Worse” I have been faintly reminded of it over the years, but nevermore then in this past month.
I have a visceral reaction to beautiful places and nice things. This is because it feels like the most gritty objectively hard times I have endured throughout my life so far have been accompanied by some of the most beautiful places and I have become extremely wary of such nice things because of it. Again, this goes back as far as my time in Newport Rhode Island, when I would volunteer to take the trash out at night just to get 1 fucking minute alone and just breathe. What would I be faced with, the most beautiful sunsets over the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, making a mockery of my chopped and buzzed hair cut and birth control goggles, accompanied with the insufferable bright orange strap I was tasked to wear since day one so everyone could see the weakness in me outwardly.
Alas, I overcame all of those insufferable sunsets and even learned to like them over the years as I found myself back in Newport time and again for various reasons. I also overcame the orange strap and the only way I can explain it is with the grit Angela Duckworth speaks of in her book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”. Later I was faced with the miraculous and beautiful day’s and nights in Monterey California for almost 3 years while inwardly I was suffering and in turmoil.
Which brings me to the present. I started this journey a month ago and I never realized I would be holding on for dear life to the slogan that began it all. In the last month, I have repeated this over and over more times than in the past 10 years combined. — “Things Could Always be Worse.” I’m in yet another beautiful place and feeling inner turmoil.
The entire country of Bahrain is shutdown but I am staying in a fancy hotel attached to a city mall and I can at least walk around the bottom floor for exercise. –“Things Could Always be Worse.”
I couldn’t get into Abu Dhabi right away because they are threatening to slap GPS tracking bracelets on all tourists arriving via commercial air until they quarantine properly so I have to wait it out in Bahrain until I can get there a different way. –“Things Could Always be Worse.”
Now I am in complete isolation… again and I don’t feel like doing wellll anything although all of my needs are taken care of. –“Things Could Always be Worse / first world problems.”
Abu Dhabi has banned all ViOp services for making calls to include whatsapp, FB messenger, skype voice calling, VPN services to fake being back in the states, etc. but I have found some work arounds. –“Things Could Always be Worse.”
The struggle has been real in a slightly over indulgent way where I should dig deeper within myself and stop being such a little bitch about things. This third quarantine though, has been the most isolating so far, and has really got me trying to dig even deeper and wondering if I can. The good news is that I have never given up once this far, so I don’t plan to start any time soon!
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