This too Shall Pass…
The last two months have been an interesting time for everyone, no matter their background, age, gender, familial situation, or financial position. I believe it is fair to say that we have all tried to learn how to manage and adapt to these unique circumstances with varying degrees of success.
I am a first-generation Indian American, specifically with a family from Gujarat, India. My parents entered into an arranged marriage over fifty years ago. My mother flew from India to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1969 to marry my father whom she had never met. My parents ended up in the motel business in Annapolis, Maryland, where I grew up on the property learning how to assist with managing the family business. I was a housekeeper, front desk clerk, breakfast attendant, etc., all while also adapting to an American culture that was foreign to my parents. I was mostly raised by my paternal grandmother as my parents were busy running a hospitality business. That was normal. My parents had me late in life. My brother is eleven years older than me and I was always told I was a “surprise.”
Against my family’s wishes, I moved to Plantation, Florida, after law school hoping to finally marry the man I loved, even though my parents already had prospects for me. Despite the fact that they strongly disapproved of my actions, they still helped me move down and assisted me with obtaining my own apartment. I then tried to find a job as a newly barred attorney with zero contacts in the legal industry in South Florida. My husband and I were married in August 2009 in Annapolis, Maryland. Our daughter Zaya Shanta Sanders was born on March 28, 2017. She is and will always be my savior and soulmate.
Almost thirteen years after I moved to South Florida, I am now a partner at an amazing firm. I get to work with some of the most intelligent and dynamic individuals I have ever met.
Despite the many blessings I have been given, I have dealt with anxiety my whole life. It runs in my family. Anxiety is a real issue and so is depression. Dealing with everyday situations as a professional, in addition to working from home, has caused an array of emotions and challenges to surface during this period that no one could have predicted. We’ve had to learn how to prioritize billing and/or production obligations all while coping with being quarantined and not seeing friends, coworkers, and family.
The pandemic has presented new challenges that we have all been forced to address and overcome. For example, parents working from home are trying their best to balance composing emails and attending conference calls and hearings while simultaneously trying to feed and home-school their children. These new challenges have most likely resulted in an array of mental health concerns.
Just remember, this too shall pass and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter your situation, we will all get through this together. Although we will be adjusting to a “new” normal for now, I am very fortunate to be a part of such a progressive and compassionate firm. I truly believe, especially after these last two months, that everything happens for a reason and that we ALL have a purpose.
I leave you with a few words my daughter and I recite every morning: “You Are Strong. You Are Smart. You Can Do Anything.”
Reena Patel Sanders, Esq.