COVID-19 Canceled Her Prom
Hi Papa Bear,
First of all, I truly want to thank you. Many years ago, when I was 12, I stumbled upon your site and writing to you and reading the archive of letters helped me so much, both in deciding to join the fandom and beginning to understand that I was bisexual and accepting that. In times where I'm at my lowest I still come here and your words always help me.
I'm writing you now to ask for help contextualizing my emotions. For context I am a Senior in High school, and of course like everyone else I've been stuck at home since March 15th.
At first, it seemed there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that I'd see my friends again on April 15th, then May 1st, then finally that light was put out as in person classes were officially cancelled until next school year--which means nothing to me as I'll be in college.
This has all taken a huge toll on my mental health. I already live far from my friends and my boyfriend, and just calling has been a fine substitute until last night.
Yesterday was supposed to be the day of my school's Prom, and originally me and my boyfriend had asked our friend group if we could do a call of some sort and maybe dress up and play some games and music. At first everyone seemed okay with this, but when the night came nobody responded as they all went off to do other things. In that moment, I just broke down. I couldn't stop crying and I felt so foolish because in the grand scheme of things, it's just superficial high school stuff right? But it's more than just Prom. Prom just represents everything that's been taken away from me. So many people I'll never see again, who are staying here or going to a different school, people who may not have been my dearest friends but still meant a lot to me as part of my adolescence. The fact that as President of my school's Drama Club I never got to take my final bows, that I have to choose officers when I didn't get to properly evaluate their skills and leadership ability. Decision Day, our senior trip, competitions, birthdays, the list goes on.
It feels like I'm going to be shipped off to college without any proper resolution of my childhood and I don't know how to deal with it. I'm scared that even when things do go back to normal, It'll all be taken away again. I just don't know what to do anymore.
* * *
I actually do remember you :-) and am grateful that my words have helped you in the past. Let me see if I can help you a little with this problem today. (Being German, I am fond of lists):
Life is about phases. Each phase of your life involves saying goodbye to some things and greeting others. You can be of good cheer if you look at the new phases with optimism and hope. I'm reminded of my dear friend Motoko when she had to say farewell to her house and move into senior living apartments. Instead of grieving that she could no longer maintain her home, she looked forward to all the new friends she would make and all the things she would learn from them. You can do the same. Look ahead, not backwards.
Hope this helps you some. Congratulations on graduating, and I wish you luck, success, and happiness!
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