Learning in Lockdown

 

life is now neon signage
Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Well, apparently, we are starting to see a light and the end of this locked down tunnel. I say apparently, seeing as things are opening back up and if social media is anything to go by, not a lot of people are bothering with social distancing anymore. I’m not judging you if you’ve indulged in a cheeky cuddle with your mum, I think a lot of us have edged beyond that one metre at this point. It felt rather pointless when the man who made the rules trotted off and broke them himself, didn’t it?

 
I won’t get political, but rather I’ll ask how you are. How are you? How are you -really-? It’s been a month and a half since my last post and I feel like a lot has happened. We’ve all gone through a lot in this lockdown in our own individual ways and it’s been a lot to process. I have been feeling somewhat contemplative of late, and I think lockdown has brought a number of people some realisations about their lives.

 
Lockdown has been an interesting time for me. I have become the (self-titled) queen of chickpea curries and halloumi mushroom burgers, I have had some rather challenging days at work which have taught me a lot, I have become a bit easier on myself in regards to my body and I have taken up kayaking, which is great because I think my hobbies before extended to ‘wine’ and ‘eating’. These aside, I have had some realisations about life; what I want from it, what I want from relationships, what I want from people and what I want from myself. I don’t want to waste any more time. I had a situation during lockdown that made me realise just how much monotony scares me. I think of a boring, unlived life and my heart races with beads of sweat showing on my forehead and I can’t breathe through the rising panic.

 
I want to try new things; I want to push my limits. I want to feel my anxiety and then destroy it. I want to feel things. I want to go to all those places I had planned for this year and beyond. I want to learn more. I want to spend more time with the people I love. Long term I want to find someone and marry them in a forest and get a dog-child. I’ve never even admitted to myself, let alone anyone I have dated, that I would like some romance every now and again. Well, my version of romance anyway, I’m not into flowers, but a doughnut bouquet would be great. Isn’t it strange you can spend so much of your life not being honest with yourself over simple pleasures?

 
My priorities have shifted and I don’t want to settle for things because I think that’s what someone else wants. There’s being considerate, there is being compassionate, there is being empathetic, but those things are there for you too. Saying what you want doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you honest and opens a dialogue. This has taken me far too long to realise, as when I have been asked ‘what do you want?’ before I have always tried to guess what that person wants me to say, rather than listening to the voice in the back of my head going ‘excuse me, that’s not what you want! What are you doing?’. I’ve just realised recently I have fobbed myself off a lot and put up with things I shouldn’t have done. I don’t know about you all, but I want what I want, and I may not always get it, but I sure as hell am going to ask for it from now on. It will help break your routine, you may find something new you love and have been missing out on all this time.

 

I’ll leave you with the quote I have on my kitchen whiteboard by Paulo Coelho: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal”.

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