Anxiety through the magnifying glass

Perhaps the scariest thing about this pandemic is finally getting the stillness and quiet we need to reconnect with our fears and insecurities 24/7.
And maybe that is the best part too. Facing the music and learning the dance can transform us into better opponents, far better equipped to face the things we were so used to fear.

Who would have thought that last year when we all wished for a better next one we would get this? I can assure you — not me. I am a weird hybrid of both annoying optimism and dreadful pessimism, and on top of all that, add a handful of sarcasm and just a dash of excitement, and you are still not close to the utter shock I was in when I saw 2020 going off script, like a mad conductor altering every note at the premiere, confusing its orchestra and audience.

And because things were not bad enough as they were, every ad that targeted me during the beginning of this lovely pandemic had something to do with mindfulness and everything else I was not capable of practising. So I suggest we crown the word “meditation” as this year’s most frequently used word, regardless of the context, and just go home.

People did it everywhere; I surely know I d̶i̶d̶ tried. Breathing exercises, guided meditation, beginner’s yoga classes, sleep stories, and all with the aid of technology. I used technology to help me use less technology because that is who I have become as a person. Reborn like a phoenix during challenging times. (Can you smell the b̶u̶l̶l̶s̶h̶i̶t̶ roses yet?) Anyhow, everything you might have read about, I tried it.
But looking back at the last 9 to 10 months -and this could be a highly unpopular opinion and way out of my pessimistic character, but still - it wasn’t all bad, personally. I was lucky enough to have my friends and family healthy, and my job unaffected.

2020 finally forced me to look at myself through the unflattering magnifying glass, recognise each imperfection, and learn to live with them as if they were beyond changing. This made me be more at peace with the things I can change for the better and the ones that, turns out, make me who I really am. And I l̶e̶a̶r̶n̶e̶d̶ (I am still learning) to embrace the latter more often.

And because it is not all rainbows and gratitude, there is one thing I will end up completely giving up because I only bring shame to the early risers community: waking up early and actually enjoying it. N.o.t.h.a.n.k.y.o.u.I.w.i.l.l.f.o.r.e.v.e.r.p.a.s.s.
I bid you good luck in your future endeavours. Please recruit someone else; I don't deserve you.

No matter how many “there are sunrise people and there are sunset people” Ted Talks I watch, and how much I would like to describe myself as a productive, neat, sunrise person, I am the person who stays up until 3 am because she’s excited about the plan she just made to become more efficient. A plan that starts effective immediate the next day, but instead, she ends up being way too tired because of all the excitement-no-sleep-thing that the plan backfires and she lies to herself “Next morning”.
Now rinse and repeat.

This year also brought a new sense of escapism to everyone by merely forcing us to remain put. Not everyone listened, but most of us who were too afraid not to listen, carefully nested and waited for the green light to have fun, travel again, and to live our lives. Needless to say, we are still waiting, but we are escaping with books and tons of articles about how to keep your spark alive or the latest Buzzfeed quiz from which you learn what kind of salad you are. We are escaping domestic chores by refusing to clean up until there are no clean plates left, and you find yourself eating straight from the container. We then escape that weird reality by actually cleaning. However, for that real escape, we are still waiting.

And the waiting is now surrounded by 100 potted plants, carefully acquired over the last 9 to 10 months, an important part of the nesting process, one so vital in the development of our mental health as we have navigated these turbulent ups and downs of the Coronacoaster.

Thank you for coming to my unrequested Ted Talk.

"Thank you for coming to my unrequested Ted Talk."

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