This year isn't going as planned, is it? Is anyone out there who could stand up and say, "Yep! 2020 is my year"? Any takers?
There is a virus in the world, infecting and killing people; economies are crashing in most countries, businesses shutting down, job cuts, borders closing, lockdowns. Life hasn't been the same since March 2020.
I have been working from home since then, and while I am now able to step outside, I spend 99.99 % of my time at home these days. Hence, guess what - I have finally found the time to revive my dormant blog site. How lucky are my readers! God bless Covid-19!
With all that is happening, like a lot of us, I have been feeling many emotions. And the summation of all those emotions is: I feel exhausted. Exhaustion is the lingering feeling at the end of the day in our pandemic world.
Here's a couple of them I want to highlight and in some way, reassure myself and anyone reading this, that it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling lately.
I feel SAD.
I feel sad because never have I ever felt more aware of my mortality; how fragile is one's existence. I feel sad because there are people suffering and dying. I feel sad because death seems to be the only constant in our lives, and everything else is simply changing or crumbling.
In last couple of months, we have also seen some famous, public figures passing away. We watched their movies, loved their art - we relished their existences. And now they are gone - just like that, they cease to exist. Money, fame, power - can they save us when death comes calling?
I am sad because I haven't met my father and sister in 9 months, and I don't know when I can.
I am sad because we are uncertain about how the coming 6 months look like. That sucks a lot for a person like me who is used to having a sight of things ahead.
I feel SCARED.
Needless to say, I am scared of catching the coronavirus disease and falling ill. But the whole Covid-19 situation did bring out the worse in everything and everyone - incompetent world leaders at the face of a crisis, failure of medical infrastructures, exodus of migrant workers, class division, systematic racism - one can go on.
Whenever I want to step outside, I ask myself 3 questions:
As a homosapien, a species that coronavirus can kill, I ask myself - is it safe?
As a woman, I ask myself - is it safe?
As a woman from northeast India, who "looks Chinese", I ask myself - is it safe?
I have found myself not stepping out of the house, more from being scared of sexual or racial assault, than the coronavirus itself.
It's a scary world out there. Reading or watching the news do more harm than any good - more you consume it, more you feel exhausted.
I feel GRATEFUL.
Grateful that I am healthy and alive. Grateful that my family and friends are fine. Grateful I still have my job and haven't had to take a pay-cut. Grateful I have been able to keep paying rent and live in my comfortable house.
Social distancing is a luxury and I am grateful I have been able to afford it so far.
I am also immensely grateful for all the frontline workers. These tough times have shown us who the real heroes are and that actions will always mean more than words.
I feel PROUD
During the lockdown, I was alone at home for around 45 days. Not by choice, but if I have to work from home and be inside 24X7, I would prefer it this way - having the house to myself. So I took it in my stride and adjusted to it soon. Was it the best time of my life? No. But I enjoyed it - I mean, I was able to roam around naked or play loud music, without having to worry about running into my flatmates!
I feel a big sense of pride because I spent that time alone, with ease and without boredom. I have always believed I am self-reliant and self-sufficient but, this little stint proved it. It is obvious to assume a person can get bored, being alone inside for 45 days, but hey, I was not bored. Guess there is some truth in - only a boring person gets bored easily.
I am proud I learnt to take joy in doing the mundane things like - cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, working out. I am proud I kept going and did not let negative thoughts get the best of me.
I am proud I was able to take care of myself - mentally, physically and emotionally.
And, never have I felt more proud to be a natural homebody. Staying in, doing my thangggg - that's how I roll.
These emotions are not the only ones I have been feeling. Fortunately, the sum total is a positive for me, but it need not be the case for everyone. We can only try; try to push through whatever these positive or negative emotions are, which can be exhausting. But then again, we can only keep trying.
Before all of these, I thought "quarantine" is something that happens only in sci-fi movies. Today, it is one of the most-typed words in my messages, among others like - mask, isolation, lockdown, social distancing. Who would have thought 2020 would turn out this way? We are halfway through, and there is only weak signs of developing a vaccine this year.
People have been forced to rethink, reimagine their lives - even the sound of it is exhausting.