Beginning thought: Before this pandemic began, the world was different, and it will be different in the future.
A friend of mine, for a number of years, refused to join Instagram, until very recently. “I want to post things I’ve been doing during the Pandemic” he said. Now normally I would be against posting stuff for the sake of social validation, but he gave me a very real reason, “there’s not much we can do right now as far as social interaction goes, so I want to be able to talk to my friends properly, it’ll make me a little happier”. This is how a lot of people think, and for the longest time, I wasn’t one to blindly agree fall into the social presence trap. This time I saw it for what is was, not just one reason but a compilation of many, and this last reason was the tipping point for him, or the hay that broke the camel’s back. And no, he didn’t actually say that long reason, but that’s what I felt, and I assume many people also feel the same. Another friend of mine said the exact thing to me in a different context.
I refrained from putting on social media what I’ve been up to, but I know see that it’s the way the world is coping, staying in touch, keeping sane as it were. I am not saying I am otherwise sane, but I’m going to do the same, talk about the things I’ve done during this pandemic, ranging from normal to the brink of dark insanity.
This pandemic has been a varying one with regards to the activities that people are doing. Of course, I’m doing the standard things such as cooking (I make a great cheesecake), yoga and talking to friends, but something I started doing again was running. This is obviously nothing new, millions of people in this country do it. For me, it’s one of the few escapes from my house I actually enjoy. It’s very underrated, it exercises every part of the body, and helps you build stamina and endurance. Most importantly, I love the view where I go to run, and it’s quite normal for most people, but building up the adrenaline really helps cement a view over a hill, watching the sunset while the gentle breeze hits you.
Another interesting activity I have been doing is planning. This is perhaps my current favourite activity. I have started to plan a whole lot of things, from my next 5 holidays to what I want to happen when I die, a series of letters I want people to read, not unlike 13 reasons why, but I’ve been wanting to do this for 6 years. I am not sharing my dark side in this post, so I won’t dwell too much into that plan. It is just for the pleasure of planning something for/about yourself, the peace of imagining how something will turn out. It is like realising your dream. Not long ago I used to think imagining like was pointless, but if you stay realistic, it can be very entertaining. A few holidays I have planned are a 4/5-day trip to Tenerife, a 2 “night” trip to Hammerfest and even a race against the sun. There are others, which I’ll save for a later post, and I’ll add to my bucket list. This planning activity I would definitely recommend.
Like millions of students, the first months of this pandemic for me was about studying, and in particular finishing my degree. At first universities around the world were reluctant to close their doors, especially considering the lack of measures to provide education in such a situation. I’m not here to complain about the education system though. Until 2 years ago, I was a much better student at home, and didn’t prefer to study at the university itself. Then I changed, and started spending more time at university, staying back hours to study. When we were made to stay at home, I was once again made to study at home, and even though it wasn’t new for me, it took time getting used to. I cannot even imagine how other students must have felt in such situations. Never the less, I adapted sooner than later and found my rhythm again. It was about 2 and a half months from when university closed doors, and when my exams finished. But even after it, I still want to study more, I guess the inner student in me wasn’t satisfied after finishing exams. Since my last exam (little over 6 weeks ago), I have finished another short course, and started 3 others. Once a student always a student, I guess. Maybe I don’t want student life to end, or maybe it’s the superior human quality of being wanting to learn more and more, as much as possible.
“Life is a school, you learn till you die, and then you learn more”- @me
It takes time to find out about yourself, and these last few months have given me time to do just that. It started by opening up to greater changes than I thought I would do, it showed me what we are capable off once we set our mind to it. The next was dealing with my insecurities, and even though they weren’t big to other people or even in the grand scheme of things, the time I got really helped sooth those insecurities. The best thing I think for that was giving them more thought and at the same time facing them. I began to treat self-realisation as a game, and it was a game I intended to win. I was constantly looking for things to think about. From writing stuff down to remembering arguments (because they’re great to find out what other people really think about you). All I then needed to do was filter the information and realise where I was wrong, and how I can improve myself. Dare I say this, but I do think I have grown as a person in these few months, more so than I could ever have hoped. I see things a lot more clearly (despite having powerful glasses), and evaluate a lot more than before, which says a lot because it was significant before too, now it’s just much more refined.
These are a few of the things I have been doing during this pandemic.
What’s in your pandemic diary?
Conclusion thought: The age of the digital communication has really been at the forefront in these last few months, and now I think I can finally start saying we’re living in a digital world.