Inside the cocoon... the chrysalis of the BUTTERFLY! I will fly...!
Posted April 21, 2021 from United States

The Covid 19 Shutdown...

It's been a year since the pandemic hit Los Angeles. A year ago I was working in a downtown Los Angeles textile printing design studio. All male except for me, the queen bee. Our wide format printers were going full speed. We, the artists were editing files on our computers from the design department. We were sending files to our huge printers creating hundreds of yards of fabric. These were only samples. We were preparing a new season of textiles for customers, so that the firm could sell orders for thousands of yards to be shipped from China. We got word that China shut down.  And then we went part-time, and quieter. Then furloughed, then shut down.

Weeks went by. Months went by. Only half of the amount of employees were ordered back to work for 25% lower pay. On my team, my colleague and I were the most highly skilled and salaried. They kept the undocumented workers for part-time, then they returned at full time. My colleague and I were fully covered with benefits. Him being Latin-American, me being Black-American, we both decided to shelter in place, and enjoy what we jokingly labeled our "American White Privilege".  A year's unemployment pay, added payment boosts, stimulus checks, severance pay, time off and a chance to figure out what's next.

New habits...

I used to hate going food shopping. Now it's my "outing". My sneakers match my shirt. I'm cute. Mask, mask, mask and sanitize.  I created a new hairdo of natural twists instead of straightening my hair. I gained a few pounds. Slept late a lot. Cooked a lot of Japanese food, because I love it. And watched a lot of Netflix. And got to spend time with my mother who is 90 years old. I purged excess material possessions like crazy. Anything material that no longer served me was donated to the Salvation Army. I refreshed and reorganized. I horded hand sanitizer, toilet paper and masks until it was no longer necessary.  And I became a steadfast hermit because Covid19 is no joke. After the first month I had my first Covid 19 test, which was negative. One year later I had my Covid 19 vaccination, which two weeks later was put into "pause" because it caused 1 death and 5 severe reactions. 

Zoom, zoom and boom...there it is!

My family became more distant than ever. I found out who my friends really are.  People became good at Zoom. Life's visits in general became Zoom. I decided that no way am I going back to my old job, even if they invite me. I am moving forward. I decided to own my future, and my momentum. I had a professional computer workstation built to my specification. I subscribed to professional software, and research sites. I hired instructors and coaches for professionals in my field. I decided to become a Surface Pattern Design company. An easy transition from textile design to all surfaces, cards, apparel, Home Decor, sheets, linens, etc.  I recruited support to get me there. And now I have a home office equipped to conquer.  Thank you pandemic! 

One year later... 

I spent a year being horrified and avoiding everyone except my mother. I woke up one morning and asked myself, "where did the year go? What did I do?"  After scratching my head in contemplation, I realized that it took me a year to decide which way to go with my new career. It took a year to recruit the coaches, instructors, network, support and re-equip myself with what I need to propel me forward and deliver me to my new shores. It took a year for me to unconditionally love my hair naturally.  And to love me in solitary unconditionally. It took an entire year to decide that I deserve to have what I want, and to go seek nothing other than just that!

The Universe speaks...

I have one client. Now I am working on obtaining more. I'm reaching out for work. Any work related, to anything that I want to do. I will make any opportunity work for me, as long as it's what I like. So I listen to the Universe. It told me to prepare, practice and listen. One night I watched Amazon Prime video and saw an intimate apparel fashion show by Rhianna. I paused it  to finish watching it later. During a Zoom webinar my instructor mentioned a rumor that she wanted to dispel, "no I did not work for Rhianna". Okay, note to self, Rhianna again. I was looking on job/career opportunities website for my field. The company that Rhianna owns is looking for someone. That name again. And I'm listening. So I studied the video on Amazon, and sent my resume. Today I had my first interview with her company.  And I am working on manifesting the second interview.

That's how the Universe works if you listen. It works when you hear the little gems hit the floor that it throws into your path. Pick up those gems and create a necklace that will make you sparkle.  My journey is to be continued. I am at the beginning of my journey. I am emerging.  My wings are unfolding from the cocoon. My chrysalis is heading into a new stage. I anticipate my many stages of metamorphosis. What is meant to be will be. But set it up anyway!

Stay be continued.  



This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 6

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Nini Mappo
Apr 22
Apr 22

Hello Chrysalis!!! What an apt metaphor for the story of your gradual transformation, self awareness, self embrace, self-emancipation....all confined in that cocoon of forced solitude so that you could not escape yourself! How wonderful that you upskilled and resourced yourself in time as if you anticipated this opportunity, so that you'd be ready for it when it comes. I eagerly await the butterfly that will emerge!

P.S "I used to hate going food shopping. Now it's my "outing". My sneakers match my shirt. I'm cute." Is still cracking me up, but oh, how true when grocery shopping is the only place we can dress up for, because it is the only place we can go ha ha :-D

Hugs JoMarie :)
Apr 23
Apr 23

Hey Nini...
Needless to say, I miss you and welcome you into my spot. So glad we can pull up a chair, pour, sip and chat. I love the words you packaged, with fancy wrapping an a bow. And gave to me as a special delivery. They feel so good. I am beaming with validation and hugs from my sister. Asante sana!
Hugs Nini!

Joshua Oyedele
Apr 23
Apr 23

Wow, indeed the Covid-19 pandemic has really brought a turn around to most people around the world. It's so amazing how you turned the horrific experience into a stepping stone for the next stage of your career. "What is meant to be will be. But set it up anyway!" Beautiful word of encouragement.

I wish you good luck with the Rhianna company.

Hugs.... Joshua
Apr 23
Apr 23

Hey Joshua,
I wish me luck with any company, LoL! Thanks for stopping by and and sharing your support. You rock!

Stacie Dickson
Apr 24
Apr 24

You will fly! This was an encouraging read !
Apr 24
Apr 24

Hi Stacie,
Yes, I will fly with my crown! I'm so glad you are encouraged. Thanks for stopping by.