I’m Becca and I am the biggest art nerd. I’m the kind of art nerd that wears Botticelli socks, Kandinsky skirts, and 18th-century chair enamel pins. I also happen to be on the committee for this project. But I’ve got a big secret… I have not submitted ANYTHING to the COVID Chronicles. If you can’t already tell, I’m a bit of a goofball. I love beating to my own drum and I absolutely love to laugh, but it’s hard to be an optimist right now. When I sat down to write an entry for this project, I was at a loss. Even though I was on the team that wrote all the prompts, I still had no idea where to start. I tried handwriting a journal but couldn’t read my own handwriting (which is not uncommon for me – I’ve been told it would be rude to compare a doctor’s penmanship to my own).
I tried typing it, but my thoughts didn’t flow. I don’t leave my house often, so I don’t have much to take pictures of. I was going to show you guys these dice I made to play virtual Yahtzee, but to tell you the honest truth the dice didn’t work out very well, and we just wound up playing Jackbox games instead. Even then, I didn’t remember to screenshot or video any of our game night. No matter how I approach it, the entry never feels genuinely me, and that’s probably because I don’t always feel like myself these days.
When the pressure was on and I needed to have something, I decided to give you this: my failed attempts. And honestly, this is the most me thing I could have made. This is my COVID life. Trying my best most days and being too tired to try at all on others. Sometimes my best exceeds what I thought I could ever do, more often my best is along the lines an illegible journal entry. And that’s okay. Because we are all finding new ways to be ourselves right now. And in this wild world we live in, we can’t be perfect at that. You have to find joy in something that makes you feel a little more like you.
For me, no matter how hard it is, I find a moment every single day to laugh. I prance down the stairs and twirl around in my Kandinsky Composition 8 skirt (usually with mismatch Renaissance art mid-calf socks) until my fiancé smiles or I collapse from dizziness. I hold competitions with my cat to see who can eat breakfast faster (FYI it’s him). I make memes and send them to my friends. Scratch that. I make memes, send them to myself, and then laugh at my own jokes. In a time like this the best we can do is to be ourselves.
And don’t ever be afraid to share it with us!
Trust me as a historian, I’d rather see someone’s failed attempt at creating a dice game than the Mona Lisa. Seeing something like that reminds us that we’re a little more alike than we think. Over time and (especially right now) space we’re all just doing our best to be our perfectly imperfect human-selves. And that right there is the start to any good story.
So, send in your memes, your IG stories, send in pictures of the bread you forgot to add yeast to (been there), or a video of your cat throwing your 5000-piece puzzle off the dining room table. Tell us about how you plan to run every day but play candy crush instead (do people still play that? And kudos to you if you really are running – tell to us about that, too!). Future historians (and even just regular, non-art-nerdy people) won’t know what it was like to live through this. They will have plenty of policy to read, but what they’ll really want to know is what it meant to be alive. Tell them! What are you like in your totally unfiltered perflectly-imperfect-human glory? Besides if you’re like me, if you start with a ramble admitting some failures, you might just find yourself laughing again.