Those who have spent more than 5 seconds in my presence will know that everything I do is because I get a buzz out of feeling free and living life as though it's a bit of an adventure!
Many people have said they didn’t realise what they had until it was gone. But I was the opposite, I knew exactly what I had my hands on.
Life, for me, has always been about making memories and cramming in as many experiences as possible.
I spontaneously took opportunities to visit friends around the world, scoured through Time Out magazine to see what quirky events to attend, adventured to different countries, (struggling financially) but craving the experiences regardless 😬
I guess I'm a bit of a "Yes-Girl", and very quickly 2020 put all of that to a stop!
I don’t want this to be some sort of self indulgent pity party, because that's not what this is about. I think at times like this it’s important to reflect and analyse our behaviour, we really can all learn a lot about ourselves this way.
I’ve had friends compare their lonely quarantine with others who have a full house and energetic kids running around. And others compare their heavy workloads to those "relaxing" and having time off on furlough.
But the truth is, none is easier than the other. They ALL come with their struggles.
My struggle is freedom.
But in some unexpected ways, quarantine has allowed me to feel more free than I have in a long time.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I came to visit my boyfriend for a few days, then Boris Johnson announced full Social Distancing measures and I've been here ever since. That was nearly 7 weeks ago!
Up until this point, we had been taking our relationship nice and slow, only seeing each other a few times a month. I love my fast paced London, spontaneous, concrete jungle life. And he loves his outdoorsy, countryside slow-moving life.
It has definitely taken some getting used to, but in a refreshing way, it's allowed me to have some breathing space.
I'm usually so busy getting to the next event, or planning activities for the next 6 months that I don't always make time to be fully in the moment. And it feels like quarantine has given me an element of that back.
Like many people in this position, I've done my best to focus of those little moments of joy that make it easier to deal with the unknown that the future holds.
Here's a few of my favourites:
Food Shopping is my escape
Considering how long I've been here, me and Daniel have only done two supermarket runs. And I can count on one hand how many times we've popped to the local shop for top ups of milk, eggs etc. I LOVE a food shopping experience!
Browsing the aisles for ingredients, piecing together the all of the meal possibilities, picking up my favourite treats for the ride home - it's like a theme park for me! But I was in utter shock to learn, that Daniel doesn't feel the same. He wants to get out of the supermarket as quickly as he gets in!
We've now found a happy medium, but I suppose there will be a few of these relationship compromises along the way.
Humour somehow makes everything better
I understand that this is a sensitive time. Each of us need do our part to flatten the curve and minimise the spread of the virus. But with that said, we know that we're luckier than most to live in the western world with a roof over our heads, and access to tech that allows us to stay connected to our loved ones with ease.
So why not find things that make us laugh?
Why not find opportunities to put a smile on other peoples faces? It has made what "should be" a miserable time, surprisingly enjoyable for me. I am a travel addict - and a huge part of what I love about life is having the ability to explore new places. I've already had four holidays cancelled for this year, and there's no guarantee when, if ever, travel will be back to normal.
So I've taken it upon myself to create mini "holidays" from home and it's lifted the spirits of many others in the same situation.
I've also found lots of enjoyment watching the endless stream of TikTok videos, taking part in virtual quizzes and getting dressed up to have "nights out" in the living room.
Spending time outside
As much as I spend time out and about in London, it's very often at a hurried pace, jumping on and off tubes and focusing heavily on the destination, not the journey. Having access to beautiful nature right on the doorstep has helped me to feel inspired again.
Me and Daniel have little picnics in the garden, make daisy chains, fall asleep in the sunshine, feed the ducks, sit in the grass and let our imaginations run wild.
It feels a bit like being a kid again, and I think I've missed that.
Maybe I needed this.
In all honesty, aside from being blasted with Coronavirus response emails from companies I've been meaning to unsubscribe from, navigating a new unfamiliar life in the middle of a village, and not being able to plan ahead for anything, I’m lucky enough to say this really hasn't been so bad for me.
I think a lot of us needed an element of slowing down our life pace.
Whether it's using the time to catch our breath, to really focus on nurturing our relationships, or using this as an opportunity to self-reflect. There's something valuable about slowing down.
None of us have any idea how quickly or slowly this phase will pass. But all we can do is try to get through it in the ways that make it manageable for us.
Keep calm, and quarantine on...