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What have you struggled with during isolation?
During Isolation I have felt myself missing the physical connections I would usually have daily with friends and extended family. Hugs and touches and simply sitting next to somebody. I miss the excitement of a room full of strangers, and the silly nervous feeling it makes me get. The thrill of how it feels to introduce myself for the first time to somebody I don’t yet know. I have missed being able to go on drives for no real reason, and being able to visit a new area, just because you can. TO go camping, to have sleepovers with friends, and have picnics in the early afternoons. It has been difficult being so still when all I want to do is move and grow and continue, but with stillness comes focus, and with focus: understanding. I thrive around people and around the unknown, and so it has been a change being surrounded completely by the known, and by the familiar.
How have you dealt with that struggle?
I have allowed myself to have days where I do not want to do very much at all, days where I cannot fathom looking into the computer screen, or putting my sneakers on and going out to exercise. On days like this I try my best to practice self-soothing, and looking after myself. Hold my own hand, wear a shirt that is nice to touch, wear a smell that reminds me of something, eat a food from my childhood. Focusing on the senses and soothing myself that way, has been something that I have benefited from very much.
I have reflected on times where I was elsewhere, in a way that is positive… and remembered those feelings of growth and importance. I have created excitement through writing stories and I have gained a feeling of purpose through reading them out loud to people that I love. I have continued to share and develop ideas, and I look forward to and talk about the near future, as it keeps me happy and on my toes.
I am excited for the markets to reopen when it is safe to do so, and I am excited to share what I have created to people I have not seen before. I am excited to invite friends into my home, to exchange hugs and cook together. I have a new-found appreciation for the familiar. I’ve learned that moving all of your furniture around, isn’t quite as good as a getaway, but it is good to mix things up and make you feel that wonderful feeling of confusion when you first wake up in the morning and wonder where you are for a divine moment of sleepiness.
What have you found in your 5km?
HORSES! I am very lucky to live near a nature park, it has a lookout, a bird-hide, a lake and lots of trees and shrubs around its whole perimeter. There are two horses that live in a stable I pass on the way there through the back track. I always stop to stand with them for a while on the way to the park and on the way home. They are such beautiful animals. They are tall and strong and live a simple life. They eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired, poo when they need to poo… And that’s about it. It sounds silly to compare yourself with a horse, as they are far more precious and beautiful than humans, but it does seem to me that our lives have been stripped back to be much simpler. Eating and sleeping, pooing and being okay with our existence to be this way. I don’t know that we will ever get so much free time to just BE again for a long time after this pandemic, and I am glad to have learned how simple things can be.