• Jan Avellana

On Survival Mode

Survival mode is that going through the motions of life with mostly a scocially acceptable face and life-like demeanor throughout the day even if you might be dying inside. Professional survivalists can go through the day, even with most family members--and not get caught squatting in their own morosity (it's a word--I looked it up.) One can stay in survival mode for a very, very, very long time. Years even. But the cracks do start to show.

Today if you see me, I'll be in survival mode, even if I look and sound perfectly normal. I'm breathing on the outside and hibernating on the inside. No, that's not completely true. Actually, on the inside, I'm packing to go away on a very long vacation, with snacks, comfy outfits that require no bra, and books and writing tools and a wad of international currency to help me feel financially secure.

That's how it's been for a good long while...COVID stuck it's toe in the door and widened the gap, and since then, I've gone into survival mode has become my default. And some days it gets heavy and I can barely show up for my life. I haven't ever completly gone AWOL out of my life yet, but let me tell you...there are days I yearn to skate away with Joni Mitchell and not tell a soul. And today is one of them.