Quarantine has changed so much for every single person. In this episode of VulnerABILITY, host Marisa Donnelly welcomes guest and fellow creative, Marta Gepe to share about her book, Quarantine Diaries, and finding inspiration in lockdown.

Highlights From the Episode:

[2:30] “I journal and I wanted to push myself to see something different in each day.”

[3:30] “It just evolved into this urge to help others, to maybe just give them a hand and say, ‘I’m just going through this. And maybe it can help you. And maybe you feel less alone.'”

[4:00] “Everybody in every corner of the world is feeling different emotions of loneliness, and fear, and uncertainty, and so feeling out these common connection points is so powerful.”

[5:10] “[It was] just taking the step towards helping the way I could and putting myself out there, and just saying ‘This is me and I’m just drawing notes. And maybe it helps you a little bit.'”

[5:45] “One of the beautiful things is that kindness has really taken the forefront. Whether people are creating things intentionally for others, or just speaking kindly to one another, or just opening up communication that maybe didn’t exist before—that’s one of the beautiful things.”

[6:50] “If I want to make a change and help people out, I’m just going to put myself out there and just bring a little bit of positivity within the darkness that we’re all going through.”

[7:35] “We need this energy of ‘it’s alright,’ ‘it’s absolutely fine,’ [and] ‘you can go a little bit mad, that’s absolutely fine.’ But focusing on the light instead of the darkness.”

[8:00] “As a writer myself, it’s like, when I’m creating something, I’m creating something with the intention of sharing an experience that I’m facing or have faced in order to help somebody who may be wrestling with the same thing or in order seek an outward connection.”

[8:35] “It’s so universal—our desire to want to connect to others and remind ourselves that we’re not alone.”

[9:20] “Everybody longs to be connected, and especially in a time when we are forced to be more distanced, it’s just really cool to see how different forms of art or communication are bubbling up underneath the surface to help us create these connections.”

[12:15] “That’s one of the really powerful things about when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share those inner-most thoughts because it kind of gives a window into our souls and experiences. And that’s what people can connect with the most – is being reminded of light in the darkness. We’re always going to be going through difficult and dark times, but how are we finding that light? How are we seeking that light? How are we creating that light for others? Or, how are we absorbing that light that others have created and then turning it around so that we’re continuing in it? And vulnerability is the core of that.”

[13:05] “The whole book is me every day… there’s no bullsh*t. I’m just going to say it. And I’m going to put my day the way it is because it just creates the real deal.”

[13:40] “We have… that tendency to protect [ourselves] with these vulnerability shields.”

[14:30] “I think right now what we need is to open our hearts and say, ‘I’m feeling this way and maybe you feeling the same way.’ And maybe we feel a little more together in the darkness.”

[14:55] “Because we’re all going through so many different emotions right now… it’s so important for us to be honest about our emotions.”

[15:20] “I think people need to be reminded of that so often: It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. But then, also, what do you do with that?”

[15:45] “It’s okay if it’s not [perfect] but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find the light in the darkness. They’re two opposite things. Don’t be ‘toxically’ positive. Don’t talk about how everything’s perfect… We don’t have to be like that, but we can still seek light, and inspiration, and hope.”

[16:40] “The lesson I’ve learned is that life is dealing with the unpredictable. It’s upon us to take the chances or to leave them. I choose to take them.”

[19:10] “We need control, as humans, to know that we’re safe. That’s part of the human instinct… Finding the blessing within the tragedy. [It] is that life unpredictable, extremely unpredictable, and now we know. And how do we flow with this? Is letting things happen and seeing what comes.”

[20:00] “It’s change. And it’s uncomfortable. And it’s really tough. But I think we’re going to get to a point where we just find a little bit of light within that uncertainty.”

[21:10] “Yes, I am somebody who values a sense of control because that means I know the direction my life is heading or that means I’m invested in what’s happening next and I want to put my hands into that equation and try to make life become what I’m working so hard for.”

[21:35] “There’s a good side to control. But what happens when you lose that control? What happens when life shifts and you’re not able to have that plan?”

[22:00] “When things are unpredictable we have to just go with the flow and learn to pick up the pieces where they fall.”

[26:40] “It’s surrendering to the unknown but enjoying where we are right now for what it’s worth.”

[24:20] “I’ve found rest in being able to create my own sense of work-life balance again in this different work environment… I think, for me, my rest comes in asking for help.”

[31:00] “I think it’s one of the blessings of this moment – to pause and slow down – it’s deepening connections with those that you feel connected to… It’s liberating [to think] I’m not alone in this.”

[31:40] “We think, ‘I’ll feel liberated when I do it myself because I’m strong.’ But really, it’s the opposite. When we ask for help, we feel liberated because somebody else is carrying that load with us.”

[32:20] “The asking for help is strengthening our minds because we feel relieved of all the load that we think we have to carry. And actually, we don’t’ need to. And it allows us to open our hearts and that’s such a strong… way of bonding with people and connecting.”

[33:00] “When you open up and say, ‘This is me and this is what I’m going through.’ You’re real. And people can say, ‘Yeah, me too.'”

[34:15] “The aim, for me, with the book, was like, I didn’t want to preach to anyone or show that I’m positive because, as you said before, this toxic positivity is not healthy… It’s a challenge in vulnerability I was so willing to take.”

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