Going into quarantine sounded scary and overwhelming. No one knew what to expect, nobody knew where or how they would be. The uncertainty put the fear of God in most of us. While I understand this is largely a sad situation, I feel incredibly blessed. And I don’t want to diminish my happiness because someone else’s sadness is greater. Celebrate the small wins, another very important learning during this quarantine.
It doesn’t look like we’re nearing the end any time soon and this will be our new normal for the foreseeable future. It’s best that we band together and learn a thing or two of resilience from one another. Let’s appreciate the good and count our blessings and stop paying heed to the bad things that will continue to happen. Please be aware of them but don’t dwell on them and drown in them. Scroll on for some feel-good conversation about my quarantine journey so far.
Here’s a look at some of the things I learnt about myself in quarantine:
1) The introvert in me is thriving
I’ve oscillated between being an ambivert and an introvert for a very long time. When you haven’t known a life without interaction you force yourself to adjust and adapt. But dealing with humans can be time-consuming and energy-draining. I’m an empath and people including random strangers will talk to me about their life or problems. I’m certain I don’t initiate a private conversation but if someone is opening up I really wouldn’t snub them. But it takes a toll on me and my energy. I’d have to isolate myself and be silent to restore my lost energy. The best part about quarantine is that I get to limit my interactions and can choose to be available when I have the mental space to entertain.
2) Being alone is my jyaam
When I moved to London in 2012 to study is when I came face-to-face with what it means to be alone and to be lonely. New country, new people, gloomy weather but I adapted quickly. Slowly, I began to make peace with myself and my thoughts. We became friends so to speak. Cut to me having moved back home, I definitely grew to be a more introspective human. When I’m by myself, you’ll find me unwinding with a TV show or whiling away my time on Pinterest. I love going down the Pinterest wormhole and because I love lists, I’m constantly saving Pins for the future. You might also catch me talking to myself, not entirely unusual during the quarantine. I mostly break down confrontations in my mind of how the other person may respond or else I’m just mentally listing out my to-do list for the next day.
3) Cooking and baking make me happy
I always enjoyed cooking and began cooking as a 13-year-old, I found it to be therapeutic. Well, the story is that mum had to get surgery on her ankles and couldn’t walk or cook. So I made it my life’s mission to learn how to make chicken curry, I made it for 3 days straight till it wasn’t watery. The rest of the family was tired of eating the same thing but obliged because I was a pretty stubborn child.
Cut to present day, I am so glad for all this time that I get on the weekend now. I’ve practically been cooking and baking restaurant-style food since this quarantine began and I have loved every bit of this journey. Baking is a newfound pleasure that I have been indulging in and I can without a shred of doubt say that I will be a lot fatter but happier when this quarantine ends.
4) Having a pet is a stress buster
I had my first pet right out of school when you don’t essentially have the responsibilities of an adult. So my parents took care of my dog mostly. However, a very recent development was that my boyfriend and I decided to adopt a 1-month-old kitten. The original plan was to put her up for adoption but she was just so damned cute we ended up getting attached. And every day since then has been an adventure, from her first visit to the vet to her first car ride. We’ve been on our toes non-stop and we love the lightness she brings to our lives. Last year I adopted another cat who was beaten and couldn’t walk. It took him a few days to warm up to her presence and now he can’t get enough of her energy. Watching the two of them play fills my whole house with laughter because everyone is so amused by them. The best way to survive this quarantine is by adopting a furry companion, no time like the present.
5) I don’t enjoy exercising
Ok, I’m going to be straight up real here. I love the idea of being thin and fit and all those things but I honestly really don’t feel connected to the idea of working out. I’ve tried it before, I hate that it made me sweat so much in my hair that I could never have clean hair, I hate that it needs the amount of time it needs. I also dislike that it inevitably comes with dietary restrictions. And, I’m just plain lazy about the idea of working out. I know everyone is focusing on their health during this quarantine and how they work-out every single day. It doesn’t motivate me in the least bit. And I’ve finally made my peace with it and now I can go ahead with my life. Guilt-free, fat and happy.
6) I still love playing The Sims
I found out about this game when I was in school and I wondered about it till I could finally find the original copy at Shoppers Stop. This game is addictive, you get to play God, you design your own house, the person you are controlling in the game and more. I love how creative the game can get and how far it can stretch your imagination. Now, I never thought I’d be able to play this game again until I was able to purchase my own desktop. To my good fortune, my boyfriend is a writer for IGN India and often gets to review some mad tech. He received a laptop to test during this quarantine and downloaded the game for me as a present. I have never been more thankful or grateful for anyone in my life. The perks of falling in love with nerds.
7) Sharing space with my boyfriend is something I enjoy
My boyfriend and I have been living together since quarantine had begun. Initially, I had my reservations and was afraid of how we’d mash and gel. We’ve stayed with each other before of, course but never for such long stretches of time. He and I both enjoy our space, we love to cook and watch old movies and have been doing just that. Like I said every day has been an adventure. I’m the happiest I’ve been and I feel most blessed to be sharing energy and space with my best friends and lover.
8) Working on a bed is not healthy
I used to be a fashion stylist for about 9 years of my life. Most of my work was outdoors and I never needed a designated work-space. So it was never an investment I needed to make. Now the only part about quarantine that I do not like is having to work from my bed. It is terrible for my posture and I constantly suffer from shoulder and back pain thanks to this WFH scenario.
9) I don’t mind my parents after all
I don’t know if it’s an age factor or I’ve just mellowed out. But I actually enjoy the company of my parents and find them to be very interesting people. I guess the luxury of time can really put things into perspective for you. My dad loves to laze about and is quite the hypochondriac. We enjoy his nature and laugh about how he panics at the very thought of an upset stomach. My mum on the other is hand falls on the other end of the spectrum, she barely sleeps and works really hard to keep us all well-fed and happy. Can’t say I’m lacking in privilege or an abundance of love. I hope this quarantine gives everyone enough time to re-connect with their loved ones.
What are some of the things you’ve learnt about yourself during quarantine? Let me know in the comments below.