This Article was originally published on HOUSEINK.COM
My name is Memphis Mori, I’m a single mom of two kids, ages 3 & 7, I’m the owner of Grim City Tattoo Club in Hamilton Ontario, I run the Canadian distribution for Sullen Clothing, and I put on a tattoo convention in Toronto last year with the intentions of doing it annually, COVID-19 has changed fucked up my life.
Now I, like many “artistic types” find being contained or cooped up to be torture, stifling creativity and draining me, creating a perfect breeding ground for me to fall victim to my demons and bad habits. I suffer with depression and anxiety on good days out in the real world. So being confined in my home alone I find myself daily having to choose to face some of my deepest fears every day: my business that I fought so hard for failing and letting all my artists down in the worst way possible. The crippling fear of being completely alone with no affection and no companionship. The anxiety that exists within the unknowns and completely out of my controls. The knowledge that everything I have built, could crumble beneath my feet and leave me with nothing.
I feel like we all wake up every day in a sick joke, a loop, our lives: paused & yet on repeat.
I feel like we all wake up every day with a choice: give in to our mind, give in to fear, roll over and just wait for all this to be over, hoping it will be over soon, or to fight back with everything we have to make the best of this mess, and to hopefully come out of this stronger and better people.
I know, I battle with this choice somedays, especially when things first started becoming real, and COVID-19 was no longer another countries’ problem or just a blown out of context cold.
Since my shop closed down, 44 days ago: I have built three massive LEGO Star Wars ships, started to do Yoga again and decided that by the time I return to life within my new norms that I will be able to do the splits (a completely useless goal, but it’s something so unobtainable and I live for challenge). I work out seven days a week for a minimum of 30 min on my ‘rest days and up to 3 hrs when I’m not completely destroyed from the days before, I’ve been forcing myself to learn to cook vegan meals when prior to COVID-19 I existed on Spicy Chicken Ramen Noodles, UberEats and going to dinners with my friends. I have started building a vegetable garden by buying and planting seeds with my children, and all of these things have found me - more at peace with my self.
I started these things in this weird place of compulsion to keep busy, as a way to throw my energy into something I was terrible at - in some misguided attempt to find chaos and thus order within my head. Instead I found, things about myself and my children that are irreplaceable and honestly, are things I never intend to lose again.
I found the complete disruption within life - as a cataclysmic event that forced me to reevaluate and prioritize the things within myself and my life that I had known I was unhappy with for a long time, the things you WISH you had time to do in the real world.
The things you always say “I don’t have time” for.
Balance has always been something I sought, an impossible goal.
I feel like most of us in this industry and in the art world- struggle with finding moderation.
Art or I should say; Good Art, the kind of art we aspire to create, the kind of art that changes the world and makes people FEEL, rarely comes from a healthy place.
We also constantly struggle with finding Time, which is undoubtably the most valuable and irreplaceable resource in the world. Each of us with a finite amount and a constant choice that needs to be made to decide how we best use our wealth.
COVID-19 can be seen as a once in a lifetime opportunity,
a chance to really explore the things in yourself that you’ve always put less value on than work and money.
A rare gift to spend time with your family, to learn about your partner or your kids, to fall in love all over again.
A chance to learn a new language, start a youtube, write a book, read a book, put down your phone and just enjoy a nice evening in your own mind.
The chance to get healthy, learn to cook or knit or paint or how to just, Survive.
Sometimes just surviving, in itself is a new skill and knowing you can overcome your deepest and darkest places, knowing you can defeat your fears and that you are a stronger person than you ever thought possible.
COVID-19 may not be what we wanted but it’s the life we currently have, and we can either make the best of it or we can let it destroy us and I don’t know about you, but I didn’t fight this fucking long and this fucking hard to get to where I am to give up now.