In this terribly difficult time, I’m keenly aware of how fortunate I am. I think many of us are. My loved ones are healthy and I’m still working every day. It is hard to reconcile the relative calmness of my life with the tragedies being endured by so many others.

I’ve been photographing my everyday life more than ever before. I think it is partially just something for me to do, and also because I know that people will be talking about this time for years to come and I’ll want to remember how I lived it.

I’ve been in the same small apartment in Portland with my boyfriend, Colin, since we moved to Maine almost four years ago. Other than a blatant lack of closets, the one-bedroom life hasn’t bothered me much. It has become an imperfect home, but since the start of this pandemic I have become hyper aware of just how little space we have. How big the outside is compared to our four tiny rooms. I picked this apartment because of the windows and I still love the light we get, especially in the morning. In the winter and during global pandemics it gives me a small amount of joy on every sunny day.

To combat our lack of space, we’ve been going outside a lot. I take a (masked) walk around my neighborhood most days. I’ve noticed so many small details I never have before. How the sunset reflects on certain windows, or how quickly the blooms on the trees fall to the ground. We’ve also been frequenting a lot of trails and nature preserves outside of Portland. Ones that are generally less busy. I recently saw a photo of the social distancing circles drawn in the grass at parks in New York City and I breathed a sigh of relief that I live somewhere where I don’t have to work very hard to find a place to be outside without other people. Every day I’m grateful to wake up in Maine.

Colin works at a local restaurant and like most service industry workers he lost his job back in March. I remember the day he came home from work and we realized that he probably wouldn’t be going back anytime soon. He is used to working over 40 hours a week, and having all of this free time has been really strange for him. He has taken up fly fishing and hasn’t looked back. He goes out almost every day. As millennials we’ve accepted that we probably won’t get to retire, so he is currently living out his retirement at age 29.

I think we’ve both realized that there are unexpected bright spots to this moment. I’ve learned to savor them. We’re talking more with all of our friends who live far away. Unemployment means that Colin is home for dinner every night, but overall, I just wish this would end. I know it won’t, though. At least, probably not anytime soon. I wish I could get on a plane, fly to Nebraska and give my family a hug. I mostly wish that hundreds of thousands of other people, victims of this awful virus, were still alive and able to give their families hugs, too.

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