We’re living in the strangest and most consequential of times — one we won’t be able to believe looking back on. One where we’re feeling our own forms of misfortune and loss, yet forced to step back and hold it relative to the greater angst society faces right now.
I savored every minute of Syracuse’s ACC Tournament win over North Carolina on Mar. 13. With the Celtics beating the Pacers the night before, and the NBA announcing in the midst of that Syracuse game that it’d postpone its season, I had a strong feeling I was watching the last live sporting event for a long time. The next day I turned out correct, basketball was done and the rest of sports soon followed ending seasons I covered — a collective blow.
It’s one way the turn toward turning 22 years old today isn’t what I pictured. At all. I didn’t think I’d graduate in December, happy to be done early yet without immediate direction and now 300 miles from my best friends. January brought my uncle’s death and Kobe’s, which I don’t add to this list lightly. I felt that. A month later my first relationship ended after a year, largely halting my travel back to school. Then March brought the worst of coronavirus, ending the sports that made all of this easy to dispel.
With it — my senior year officially ended. Though my diploma already arrived, I looked forward to the final moments with acquaintances. I’ll have my best friends from Syracuse for life, who knows what’ll become of the casual friendships. The nod toward what we’d achieved, enjoyed and still have to offer. That’s on pause, if not lost entirely.
Everything is. An internship I’d yet to announce covering sports business in NYC this summer cancelled entirely. Writing freelancing is on hold. My day job closed. Another door opened thankfully, our CelticsSim project emerging as both a fun and productive outlet and I’ll always be thankful to CLNS for that. But with addicting movement gone, I had to look inward.
It started with anger. Seeing fellow students more upset online that they couldn’t return to bars and normalcy at school instead of the greater issue at hand set me off. Then I thought about my own frustrations and their relatively small stature compared to doctors battling COVID without masks, people far more impacted by losing their day job, even students enjoying semesters abroad like I did in 2018 ripped home immediately.
This once again left me in admiration of my mom, working in a hospital fighting the good fight. I’ve read stories of loved ones separated from theirs in nursing homes. Teachers, already underpaid and overworked, forced to adjust on the fly. Tipped workers without that income as anxiety raises over social interactions. Grocery workers, God bless. I even thought about my uncle’s beautiful sendoff, how a funeral wouldn’t be possible if he passed now.
Many are doing the most necessary jobs still, while many of us sit at home wondering when the NBA starts again. It’s all relative, this is neither “sucks to be them” nor myself. We’re all processing and feeling this in different ways. I’ve even gained some sympathy for classmates still reeling from the loss of their last night out.
To even the impact between those simply battling boredom at home, and others wondering how they’ll pay for April rent, let’s find a way — large or small — to help even the scale in ways we can. Consider it a collective birthday gift to myself and CelticsBlog. I’ve started with $50 to The Boston Foundation and hope you’ll match.
As Jeff wrote this morning:
“If you have the means, please consider giving what you can. We are partnering with The Boston Foundation to provide support for their COVID-19 Response Fund ... Here’s how you can help: Follow this link and click on the DONATE button to make your contribution.
It is worth noting that this isn’t the only way you can help. There are dozens of organizations around Boston that need support as well. For example, a member of this blog works at More Than Words, a job training youth development program for young people who are court-involved, in the foster care system, out of school, and/or homeless. But I really wanted to focus our giving in order to maximize the impact while providing to an organization that is flexible enough to get the funds to where they are most needed.”
Hospitals need masks. Small businesses need support in your area. You can buy a pizza and be helping out society right now — how great is that? I’ve already bought over 10 muffins from the breakfast spot I worked at in high school.
Just think of doing one thing on this day, and since we’re all collectively feeling this, it’s a chance for all of us to make it end sooner and with less devastation. Be well.