By Julie Johnson McVeigh
PROMPT — During COVID-19 ...
During the Covid Pandemic, I am molting. I am shedding the layers of myself that no longer serve me during this time. Here I am needing to be with myself, with my whole self. There is no noise to hide the emotions I find inconvenient to feel. There is no schedule to fill to busy myself forgetting that stone in my shoe that is nagging me to address. Time has slowed. It is as if the world is turning a little slower on its axis. Maybe even its axis has tilted standing the world a little more upright. I am finding my balance and it feels like a new balance that has honesty and authenticity that the former outward smiling face crowded off the stage.
In this moment, I am going deeper into a relationship with myself. I am finding my voice that was hidden under a rock to keep the stream running smoothly. That voice is for the part of me who is scared to speak up. Who lost the muscle needed to raise my hand. My arm feels weighted down, atrophied from disuse. I have been hiding behind ideas of being a good girl — accommodating, helpful, giving, nice, likable. I have been fearful of saying that I am here and I am disappointed, I am hopeful, I am scared, I want more and better and something other than this.
Where in the past, I danced and cowered, I am now trying to answer with a full heart. My arm is heavy, and I struggle to lift it, and that is my job today inside this house. I am speaking for my hurt self and my hopeful self. I am asking more of my voice and my hand as my legs stand up — not to run, but to be seen. I am here.
Julie Johnson McVeigh is a person waking to the joy of becoming (inspired by the truth of Michelle Robinson Obama’s words) and of how words can name our experiences and touch our souls, reminding us that we are connected beings. By day and night, she mothers two boys and remembers she has two grown step-children with independent lives. She is paid to help people move their money to feel more aligned with their values and build the just world where we all hope to live. She is learning to stand for racial justice as a white ally. She practices yoga, meditating, running, being a present partner in a marriage, and standing in herself.