I am tired of seeing my friends and colleagues in squares on my computer screens.
My ears are tired of hearing distorted and sudden bursts of sound through the earpiece.
I am tired of dealing with technical difficulties and latency.
I miss interacting with people face to face – which is an unlikely thing for me to say, I know.
Ok I guess I should edit that. I miss interacting with some people face to face ;p
There are 24 hours in a day.
The sun rises and sets.
The law of gravity still applies.
All seasons change.
All living things die.
Time will march on.
This too shall pass.
In a world where there isn’t much we can be sure about anymore, constant things suddenly seem a lot more precious.
Fear makes me want to hide.
Fear makes me want to curl up in a corner and squeeze my eyes shut.
Fear makes me want to cry.
Fear makes me worry for things I cannot change.
Fear makes me feel powerless, helpless.
I think I’ve been obsessively cleaning and rearranging things in my room because that seems to be the only thing I can control right now.
Something that seems to have become more prevalent in social media posts, and in my own reflections and experiences –
Feelings. And how we deal with them.
Suddenly, it has become normal to admit that you’re not as ok as people expect you to be.
There is less pressure on people to offer advice and try to fix things. Because honestly, unless you have a vaccine for Covid-19, there’s nothing much anyone can do right now to fix things in the way we hope to have it fixed.
And to be honest, I’m actually really glad.
I’m not glad for all the suffering, pain, uncertainty and anxiety that is happening around the world right now.
But I’m glad that the language of uncomfortable feelings and emotions are becoming more normalised and acceptable, especially in societies and cultures where such topics were once extremely taboo and stigmatised.
I’m glad that so many are speaking about how it’s ok to be not ok.
I’m glad that when I felt guilty for feeling safe and protected at home, I found comfort in friends who openly expressed the same feeling, letting me know that I’m not a monster.
I’m glad that there is an acknowledgement of the collective grief we are all experiencing and the support we are giving to help each other through it.
Who would have thought we’d live to see such strange times?
Today I went out for the first time after the latest new measures were implemented in the country, asking everyone to remain at home as much as possible.
Public parks are one of the few places people are still allowed to visit. They haven’t been shut off… yet.
Everywhere we look, there are reminders that we are living in a totally different and unexpected world.
Everything has changed too fast and too much.
Perhaps its all we can do, to hold on to little moments of physical freedom.
Inhaling the beauty of greenery around us, embracing the expansive blue of the sky, and sighing in quiet joy with the morning shadows.
Sitting by the window in my room.
At first it struck me how the window grills look like a cage….
But the comforting cup at the corner reminds me that I am not trapped, I am SAFE.
And it is such a blessing to be safe in this moment.
It is such a blessing to have the blue sky to look at.
It is such a blessing to be able to work from home, and drink coffee in my room, and be able to paint the sky and enjoy the sun even from inside.
There is always something to be grateful for.
It’s just one month, I tell myself.
After one month, things will get better.
You’ve booked a staycation in May (with flexible cancellation dates. Just in case).
You’ll get to meet your friends again and sit in the cafes to have coffee and people watch through window seats. In the meantime, you can still journal at home. You can make art. Music. Read. You have Zoom. And Skype. You can finally do all the online courses you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for. You’ll have all the downtime you’ve always dreamed off and not have to feel guilty about it! You’re not going to be bored to death. You’ve always been able to find things to do at home. It’s just the mindset of having to stay at home now that’s making you anxious and feeling trapped. And that’s understandable.
It’s ok to feel scared and anxious, AND also remember that we don’t have to panic and that this will pass. We’re in the storm now, knowing that this storm won’t last forever.
Collective grieving is taking place.
We are grieving the loss of normalcy, the loss of the lives we could be living.
Even though the period of these measures is supposed to last only a month, I think there’s a part of us that says: “What if?”
What if it lasts more than a month?
What if it becomes a full-blown lockdown?
What if this never ends?
What if we never know “normal” as we once did again?
And so we do what any human being with feelings would do.
I haven’t been here for a long time.
Today is a work from home day, and I suddenly found the time and inspiration to come back to this space. Or maybe something in my body just told me that I really needed to. I really need this outlet today.
It feels so surreal, this world we are living in now.
I feel small, powerless, and so not in control.
I see everyone encouraging each other on social media and posting things about taking care of our physical and mental health. And reminding each other not to get swept up in the paranoia and anxiety of the times.
Which just makes me feel more anxious, really.
I have turned off notifications for most apps on my phone.
I am working on allowing all feelings, which can get really uncomfortable.
On the brighter side, I am enjoying the slowed down pace of life, the emphasis on meaningful connection, and the time we have to reflect on what truly matters.
I don’t think the worst is over.
I hope for strength and equanimity.
It will not be easy but it will be worth it.