The Piper Communications staff is excited to be back in the office once again. We asked each of our staff members what life was like during the pandemic and what they are looking forward to now that they are vaccinated. Check out part one of our “Back in the office” series here.
Here are our answers for part-two of this two-part series:
What is something you wish you could tell yourself a year ago?
Cortney Piper: Honestly, nothing. Everything was so uncertain, surreal and different last year. We didn’t have a frame of reference for what things would look like, so I don’t think I would have believed anything I told myself. None of us could have imagined what life would be like a year later.
Gerald Witt: Don’t worry, there will be plenty of toilet paper. Support those around you, try to be healthy, and talk about what you’re going through. You’ll try a few face masks before you find one that works. Instead of overbuying hand sanitizer, stock up on ice cream.
Abby Hassler: Stock up on hand sanitizer and sweatpants. Kidding. Honestly, at the beginning of the pandemic, I found it very difficult to wrap my brain around what was happening. Once I allowed myself to accept the new reality and the changes we were all facing, my transition into the “new normal” was much easier. So, I would probably tell myself to take a deep breath, face the scariness and uncertainty, and turn to my loved ones for support and connection.
Allie Mobley: Everything happens for a reason. I was very distraught in the beginning of the pandemic, it completely changed my career path and life plan after being a recent college graduate and my plans to move to New York City had obviously fallen through. I had to start from scratch and create a new plan. I wish I could tell myself that everything happens for a reason and it’s okay that plans change, you might like where you end up!
Yvette Martinez: I am a hugger and it is extremely strange not to hug people when I see them. I would prepare myself for this adjustment and remind myself that hugs will be back someday.
How have you grown or changed in a positive way during the pandemic?
Cortney Piper: The pandemic brought out my introverted nature in full force because there was no external pressure to go to meetings or meet up with people. If left unchecked, I am completely happy to roll up my sleeves, put my head down and get work done. However freeing this experience has been for me, I realize that this wasn’t the ideal choice long term, especially when running a public relations business. So, I have made a conscious decision to pull myself out of it and start embracing a return to normalcy.
Gerald Witt: There’s been a lot of challenging growth for everyone. Fear, loss, anger and ennui were common emotions among my friends. So, in my better moments, I tried to “be present” with friends and family – whether we were in-person, texting or talking on the phone. The pandemic has also highlighted how important it is to relax and recharge. Even if you have to schedule it, you gotta find time to unwind.
Abby Hassler: Strangely enough, this past year has made me more confident and sure about myself. Working remotely gave me the time and freedom to be more creative and believe in the quality of work I was putting out into the world. I would attribute this change and growth to a year of self reflection and valuing a healthy work-life balance.
Allie Mobley: It made me look at life as not a straight line but more of a rollercoaster. Things are going to change, you are going to have some lows but also many highs. I also learned not to plan so much, before I got so caught up in the future and the pandemic has taught me to enjoy the present more.
Yvette Martinez: It was extremely difficult to understand how a virus, mask and a vaccine could become political. In the beginning, this was extremely aggravating to me and would dominate much of my thoughts and create an emotional roller-coaster for me. However, due to the duration of this crisis, I have been able to come to a place of understanding that I cannot understand the politicization of this tragedy and that is not a good use of my energy. My energy is better utilized in adjusting to what is next!