Tuesday, March 24, 2020
What's Going On?

What's Going On?

Thanks to Marvin Gaye for sponsoring this post. But in all seriousness, his song title did inspire me about the current state of everything at the moment, what is going on? And if you're interested, for work I created a playlist, including said song, specifically for quarantining which you can check out on Spotify here. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been busy. Mostly enjoying myself, working at another festival, had my purse stolen though, done back-to-back interviews with musicians, had all four wisdom teeth removed (damn I wish I timed that better for a quarantine) oh and yeah, I'm quarantining and working from home, because of a global pandemic virus (?!?). There's a sentence I never thought I would use.

Let's rewind over a week first. I was at work, I'm currently working here if you're interested. My time has been taken up writing and doing a lot for that lately hence why this place has taken a back seat. Anyway, so my colleague came and told me that I would be working from home because France was about to go on 'lockdown'. Sounds like the opening to an episode of Black Mirror, doesn't it?

Then everything just happened very quickly, like going through one of those flick books and everything goes by in a fast blur, too fast to gather your emotions. We were told all schools would be shut, then an announcement on the weekend said all restaurants/bars, etc would be closed, then another announcement later to say we were not to leave our homes for anything other than necessities. And breathe.

I read something online saying that, if you've got anxiety, you already make up so many catastrophic scenarios in your head that when something like this happens you may surprisingly feel calm because you're constantly prepared for the worst. Initially, I didn't feel calm, I felt worried and imbalanced. Though my emotions have been coming and going in waves, I've come to an acceptance of it all, and feel calmer. Even though I found out that Glastonbury, the first time I would ever have attended for the 50th anniversary, had been canceled, I just accepted it. My friend that had planned to come and visit me had to have her flights canceled but I accepted it...well I had no other choice but to accept. I've also stopped bombarding myself with news whilst at home which has helped my state of mind.

These were just two minor things on the scale of things being canceled and delayed but the major 'thing' is the illness, the major thing is people losing their lives, jobs, homes, potentially, because of it. So how do we possibly stay sane in situations like this?

Hopefully, I don't come off as 'preachy' but it's gratitude. It's the only thing helping me get through this and has been helping me with everything lately. I read that it is impossible to feel negative and positive emotions at the same time so I try to swap all my anxieties and fears with gratitude. In a time where it feels so uncertain and everything is up in the air, you have to be grateful for where you are right now in this second, what you have (no matter how small) and who you have in your life. 

I hope a lot of other people are seeing it this way too. When something is so massive, concerning massive populations and countries and quite literally puts the majority of the world 'on hold', I see it as more than just a virus. At least, I'm trying to turn this horrible event, experience into something positive which could feel like an impossible task. I'm naturally a very reflective, deep-thinker which is both a blessing and a curse so of course all this free time has got me thinking a whole load more.

If I can I take something, anything, positive from the situation, I think it's reinforced for me what is truly important more than ever, what I can go without and what is just 'stuff'. It's showing me the power of community and humanity. I'm realising how connected everyone is, regardless of borders and imaginary walls. I'm realising how valuable time is. I'm feeling inspired to be creative with no agenda. I'm enjoying filling my time with good books, art, music, and film. I've been doing dancing lessons in my flat with my roommate. I've been trying new recipes and reading books. I've been meditating. I'm enjoying pretty boring, simple things. I've surprisingly been laughing a lot. I'm astounded at my own, and others, strength when world catastrophes like this happen. I'm also astounded at the number of idiots who have chosen to hoard toilet paper!

I've tried to keep up with the news but had to reduce due to it making me feel powerless, guilty and negative. I've come somewhat to a conclusion about how this all relates to the planet, humans, climate change. However, I think it's up to you to make up your own mind about why this has all happened, without my influence. Whatever happens, I hope that this event gives you time to truly pause and reflect. I hope it brings you out the other side more grateful, more present. I sort of hope that we'll go a little slower, take a little more care, be more accepting, less greedy and not be in a rush to return to our usual ways, the kind of ways that will make something like this happen again in our future.

In other (less breaking) news, referring back to one of my last posts, I'm happy to say I achieved a 'small' goal of moving into my own flat (silver linings!). Not my 'own' home yet, but I'm getting there. The photos in this post were taken today on a walk. Luckily exercise during the quarantine is allowed, and so is staring at and taking photos of beautiful spring flowers. 

I realise this was probably just a jumble of thoughts and probably best not written at 10pm at night, but too late.

Lastly, I want to put out my gratitude to my home, family, friends, health workers, anyone working hard right now, also to musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers and activists who make my life and this world a better place.