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Guess what's still kicking my ass?..

No seriously..



I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling with feeling tired, lazy and just an overall emotional wreck. Right?



I mean, the Covid-19 lockdown officially started in 2020, but Covid had already started taking lives at the end of 2019. That became a very scary time for most of us. I honestly didn't think it would become this crazy but there I was in Charlotte, North Carolina using Instacart for the first time, sanitizing groceries before putting them away, washing my hands a million times a day and wearing a damn mask everywhere I went.


During that time I even took it upon myself to spend 4 weeks in class obtaining my CDL's because I really wanted to start making more money.



Shesh. What a fucking time.



My time in Charlotte was amazing, nonetheless. Aside from this worldwide pandemic that started to alter my life. Unlike a few people who I knew, I followed CDC guidelines and immediately got vaccinated. There was nothing else to do but wait it out.



In my little 700 square ft apartment I was binge watching movies, eating at least 4-5 times a day and popping an occasional edible to help ease my damn sanity.



I also made sure I got some "fresh air" and took frequent walks to help keep the pounds down that I was starting to gain. I went from 140 to 170 pounds as of today since the pandemic.



I mean, I won't complain too much because a few months went by and it actually felt great to stay in the house. I also wanted to gain a few pounds too so, I guess it was a win-win.



But then a year and some time went by and it started to feel like too fucking much.



My routine was literally work, come home, eat, eat, eat, go for a walk, eat again, binge watch tv including the news to figure out when this shit would be over and back to bed again.. just to do it all over again.


The board games got boring..



The TV shows started to slow down because I guess production studios weren't filming..



And take this, even sex got boring..



I know, how could it ever right? But if you're doing it 2-3xs a day out of boredom, yes even sex (at least with the same person) can become a bit stale.



Now, if you know me.. you know that I'm the most extroverted person ever. I love having a good time. I love spending time with my family, friends and going out on the weekends.





But with my family living close to 500 miles away from me, the only time I seen anyone was a year later when my mom, cousins and sister surprised me with a visit. Now that was amazing! There I was, standing in my drawls in the middle of the floor as I heard the door bell ring and "surprise!"


Here's a photo we took after I put on my pants and turned on the lights. Haha. Love ya'll.



After that, things went back to the regular routine: work and home.



Now, I can't say that I completely hated the routine.. it gave me time to really focus on some things like paying off debt, learning some new skills, reading more and exercising which helped because I also found a major passion for cooking.



Check out some of my plates..


Chicken and Waffles


Chili and Cornbread Muffins



Thick ass grits and fruit



Also, I caught up on a lot of sleep and ultimately it gave me a chance to create more content.



I was releasing so many song covers in 2020-2021, man that shit was such a liberating feeling. Due to most venues being closed or having strict mandates..



I wasn't able to book live shows so I figured why not film my own live performances at home. I immediately started a series called "The Quarantine Live Series" performing songs from my debut release "Note to Self."


Here's a playlist of all 6 performances:



I was singing everywhere I possibly could. At this time I had quit a few jobs, you know.. just all over the place. I was working at Labcorp, then to driving for Amazon, then driving a tractor trailer delivering food and a few others. I was even an overnight concierge and that's where I really had a chance to sing.



Between the hours of 2am and 6am, I was in the empty lobby singing my ass off at that desk. I loved it because the acoustics were amazing everywhere I went. I was in the stairwells, the bathroom and in the elevator lobby where the main leasing office was. Just singing my ass off making content!



Haha, I wonder if any of the residents heard me and complained?



I mean, if someone was singing as good as myself, I wouldn't. Would you? Haha.



I had so much time on my hands in the house, here's an entire playlist mostly from the Covid lockdown of me doing a bunch of covers and remixes.



Oh and this playlist too where I did a bunch of rap remixes..



So in total I've done over 200 song covers and remixes since the start of the Quarantine.



Looking back at it, I couldn't even believe that I did that much. I've never released that much content before.



But unfortunately, this has caused an issue POST PANDEMIC.



So, here's the bullshit..



Since the pandemic forced us to "stay away" from everyone, remain inside and become the most laziest versions of ourselves, it's now a norm for me. For some reason I can't seem to shake this funk.



I'm still use to being alone, not talking to folks and being inside. Just absolutely lazy.



People are calling and I really don't want to be bothered..



When opportunities present themselves music wise, bookings, gigs, etc. I still feel very lazy and don't have much motivation to push myself. Not even if offered payment.



I know, who turns down money? Yup. Me. My crazy ass.


Meanwhile..



So finding balance, protecting my mental health and still trying to pursue my dreams have really become a major issue. I have read books, started following motivational accounts on social media, spoke with others on how they've been balancing everything post quarantine and I still haven't found much solution.



As of today, I've moved back to Maryland, working on my new album and trying to find time between personal life and work life. Like I said, this shit has been a struggle. I even caught Covid in July of 2022, which wasn't as bad as it could've been. Thankfully I took some time off of work, drowned myself in ginger, cough drops, honey, tea and lots of rest.



Fast forward a few weeks later and I've been overworking myself 10-14 hours a day and I barely have enough energy (mentally or physically) to do anything. Not even on the weekends.



Sounds like an excuse right?



Nah.


I've written down goals for this year, started eating healthier to help boost my energy and everything else that those TikTok videos suggest. Even that in itself, is draining. Just when you think you have things figured out, there goes another social media video influencing all of your thoughts and behaviors.



With social media being such an addiction, it's easy to become influenced by folks who think they have the answers. We depend on the internet so much that it really does play a major part in how we feel. But I'll save that for the next blog.



I've learned that you must take everything with a grain or salt. Not everything applies to your life and what may or may not work for you.



With all this being said, I want to mention that I am still working on finding new ways to step out of this funk and become a better version of myself. I was such a lively person, very active and outgoing.



The pandemic really fucked me up. I'm learning to give myself some grace because I know so many other people are going through the same shit.


Sometimes you really have to force yourself out of bed and say, "okay, get the hell up."



I think ultimately, these feelings will take some time to get over. If it took two and a half years to get this way, it may take another 2-3 years to get rid of these bad habits, especially if we don't do everything we can to improve. I was even told by my doctor to consider a therapist, which I still haven't done yet.



Well.. I actually did have a therapist but never returned after my first visit. I'll explain why in another blog.



When the time is right, I will definitely consider another therapist. But in the meantime I'm working on dealing with these feelings myself. I'm understanding my triggers and how to better control the behaviors that follow.



I've learned that everything we do and how we feel is based on habits. So because we were laying low, stuck in the house and didn't really have to deal with people in person, go outside or do anything, that became routine to us. Now we have to create a new routine and better habits so that we don't linger in these manic and depressive states.



We have to continue pushing ourselves outside of those comfort zones, if thats what you want. I do know that protecting my peace and not speaking to everyone everyday will be something I take to the grave now. Having so many phone calls, meet ups and dealing with everybody else's chaotic life is not on my daily to-do list anymore.



I literally decline phone calls and decline going out everyday to protect my peace.



My girl Jenifer Lewis once said "take care of yourself.. so that when the people you love need you, your arms are strong enough to catch them.." which is so damn true. We have to love ourselves first..



Give ourselves some time and be patient with ourselves..



And continue to build on this new phase of our lives because life as we know it has changed. We lost two and a half years of our life that we cannot get back. That shit is a bit scary. I was 27 when all of this started. Stuck in the house for two year, now I'm 30 ya'll.



But I'll say this.. do what makes you happy.



Wake up, get out of bed. Take care of your body, exercise and eat healthy.



Make sure that you're taking control of your life. Happiness and wellness doesn't happen without you putting in the necessary work. Also, "praying" to God for something that you don't get up everyday and strive for, doesn't work either.



And thats some real shit.


I know folks who have been "praying" to God for years, since I was a child and they're still sitting in the same situations. Again, your life will not change for the better without you putting forth some sort of constant effort. And If you "can't" do it all, ask for help.


Don't be ashamed to ask for help.



I hope that this has inspired you to get up today and get a few things done. I hope that you read these blogs and you see that I'm not perfect either. We are all in this together.



Stay strong.



Be kind.



If you need me, drop a comment under this blog and we can chat more there. Thank you for being an avid reader and showing support. There's so much more to come. New music, visuals, more blogs and a host of other things. I'm so excited to share the news with ya'll.


Make sure you subscribe to my news letter on the home page of my website as well. You definitely don't want to miss any updates!



If you enjoy these blogs, please drop a comment and share them as well. You never know, someone else may need the encouragement as well. Again, thank you so much.


Take care of yourself,


Von Tae




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