There and Back Again: A Second Pandemic-Birthday

On this, my second pandemic-birthday, I’ve thought a lot about how, in the past year, I’ve come full circle in some ways, but in a lot of ways I’ve changed completely. I had my birthday dinner at the same restaurant, for one thing.


I’ve gotten Twitter, something I once swore I would never do.


I’ve started admitting that I unironically enjoy pop music, something a younger Gwen would’ve hated.


I at some point stopped repeating the “young people are basically unaffected” argument, because it’s flimsy and dangerous, and at this point clearly not true.


I have continued to buy books online from independent bookstores, and have on multiple nights kept refreshing the Lego website in hopes that some of the more complicated sets would somehow magically shift into a price range that I could justify.


I’ve pretty consistently worn a mask throughout this whole thing, and in the new year, started wearing two. I could do without the being called paranoid or overdramatic, but if you must, you must. I would rather be overly cautious and avoid getting someone sick (or worse) than be too relaxed and end up feeling guilty.


I’m halfway vaccinated at this point, and get my second dose on Tuesday. This wasn’t even an option this time last year. Win for science!


So while my birthday celebration wasn’t big, or occurring in anything like what we generally thought the world would look like at this point, it was good. In true hobbit fashion, I ate good food until I couldn’t eat anymore, and enjoyed the whole experience as best I could. One Gross of people at a party was never my style anyway.


And yes, Mr. Frodo, in the dark times, there will also be singing— even if it is off-key, alone, to whatever Taylor Swift has released that week.