A Letter to the
Person I was
It's been 6 weeks in isolation and that's a hell of a lot of time to think. The last thing I did outside of the house was getting my nails re-done at Dryby, and I remember it was the first time I started to feel unsafe moving around London. After that outing on March 12th, I haven't left the house, other than locally to pick up groceries and go for walks. Luckily, our situation has given us a lot of space to move around in and a garden to breathe fresh air in when we need it. And I thank my stars every day for that. But during the moments roaming around the house looking for something to clean, I've spent a lot of time wondering how this pandemic might change the way of the world. The culture, the gestures, the environment, the human to human interactions we have every day. And in thinking about the future, I've also looked towards the past. The person I was, right before the world changed.
Dear former me,
If only you could look into the future and open your eyes to the life you live, right now.
One thing I have drilled into myself over the last few years is perspective, perspective, perspective. I find it key to understanding, calmness and clarity in a multitude of situations. Finding a perspective outside of the four walls of an angry and frustrated brain is so essential. Otherwise, I can sit and stew on the smallest of moments for hours, going over and over an issue in my brain until I feel like I could explode. As soon as I step out of that hole and look towards a new perspective, I'm on the road to lifting that dark cloud.
My perspectives often are in the form of gratitude and realisation. That phrase you hear often, "If it won't matter in five years, don't dwell on it for longer than five minutes". Well I would reduce that timescale from five years to probably 5 days - because most arguments, most upsets or most issues that I come across, I don't even remember in a week. They're not worth the worry. The things that actually matter are the health of my family, the health and happiness of my husband, the wellness of my friends, the stability of our future, the longevity of our career, the safety of those around me. That is what matters. And when I can finally fly out of the dark clouds and take a breath of fresh air to remember all of those things, thats when the perspective hits me.
That sense of calm and wider thought has helped me somewhat during this uncertain time. We have never had to deal with a pandemic of this magnitude in modern times. And thus nobody knows how to react or how they should be feeling. I know people who have become mildly ill, I know people who have been very ill and I know people who have passed away due to Covid-19. And to anyone reading, if you have experienced any loss due to this CoronaVirus, then I want to send you so much love and my greatest condolences. No one could foresee that something like this was around the corner and I only wish we were better prepared for it.
But all we can do now is stay at home, stay safe and wait this out until it becomes manageable. It can be boring at times, it must be claustrophobic for some and it must be extremely difficult for others. So many have lost their jobs, others have been furloughed, others are waiting on the day they can go back to work to start earning again. Everyone has their own issues they're working through and the uncertainty is hard to deal with.
For me, what I have learned now that I wish I could tell the girl I was a few months ago, is this. Don't take this world for granted. I try to feel gratitude daily, for my health and families health and the home I've built around me, the career I've built and the opportunities I've gained. But I do find myself now questioning whether I felt it, enough? Did I really take in the wonderfulness of the world around me, up to this point? Maybe I did, but yet I have questioned this now on a number of occasions recently. We never usually digest a wonderful situation until later, when we are no longer there. You could be standing at the top of Mount Everest and not understand the magnitude of that very moment until you're back at base camp. Our brains don't seem to allow us to take an incredible moment in when we're right there and then. Almost like our eyes couldn't handle the overwhelming beauty. But now, looking back at those work trips, those constant London brunches, those trips over to Chicago to see Rebecca, those train journeys up North to see my family. Sometimes I would feel frustration at the length of time it would take to get somewhere, or the fact I was so busy that in some cases I would wish I could do something else. How self-centred I was to not realise that the most important things in life are often staring us in the face.
I feel like my eyes have been opened. It's easy to say this now, but I hope that when we can resume a somewhat normality, that life can slow down just a touch. That we're given the time to take things in, to consume and digest wonderful moments, to appreciate the little things that we take for granted, and to dismiss any thoughts and worries that we will no longer remember in a matter of days. Just to feel a new sense of clarity and openness. This global pandemic has affected everyone's lives to varying degrees and has surely changed the majority of us. I just hope that it can teach us more kindness, more appreciation, more gratitude and more love.
Sending you all so much energy and light x