This was supposed to be published in 2021.
I haven’t written anything on this blog for a couple of years. Do I feel guilty? Yes.
Have to say, sharing on Instagram took over. Albeit, it has its own challenges. With the limited characters in the caption and how I try to keep my information concise (because I personally don’t have the time to simply scroll that many stories in one go). I get used to it, but then it became convenient and I got somewhat complacent.
And then we hit 2020 and it was a blur – that’s not an understatement.
I’m pretty sure, almost everyone is impacted by COVID-19. I didn’t realize we’re writing (and living) a new history until we’re in the middle of it. Dramatic changes all around the world. From every sector and every little nook & cranny. We had to adapt, fast. Some may be slower than others. Some resented it. Some were in denial. We all try to make our own footprints in this new age, so to speak.
Working from home (WFH) isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve been doing this for many years now and thought I would be OK. Apparently, I cracked. There are several factors to it. The first one is how I felt that WFH seems to be endless. Juggling between work and domestic life is not easy, and we don’t even have kids yet. And I felt that pressure to keep on going because there’s this invisible notion of “you’re at home so you should be able to do it”. No, definitely not.
I am lucky that I still have the flexibility. My husband? Not so much. His work hours are grueling. Multiple meetings in a day and even meetings after 6. People just don’t know how to stop. It’s not that I’m not grateful that we still have jobs. It was more about the notion I mentioned above. The pressure is insane. I dare you that there are a lot of people who are actually exhausted (not just physically, moreover, mentally) but they’re either unaware or in denial. Because we’re at home right? We’re supposed to be able to do it. We’re glued to our gadgets almost 24/7, my screen time went off to the roof.
It’s normal to feel tired. But what’s different this time is that I couldn’t get out of the house like I used to. I couldn’t just go to the nearby mall or cafes to spend some time alone or hang out with friends. I only have virtual events/meetups. After a while, it becomes clear to me that I really don’t like living in this house. Take note that I call it a house, not a home. I feel trapped. No safe space for me to curl myself into. I’ll leave the details out.
Each day can feel so long yet fast. It was hard to slow down because everybody seemed to be doing just fine and I started to feel that “itch”. An itch that eventually becomes a nightmare. Essentially, I’m making a time bomb, and eventually, it explodes. Correction, a volcano. From small vibrations, tiny eruptions, and to the big load. Blew up in my face. I easily get tired, I reject things and I procrastinate. I became loathful and I nitpick at the simplest, silliest things. I’m angry all the time. Frustrated. Irritated. I cried, a lot. I could drop everything just to cry. There were days when I couldn’t function. Mood swings are uncontrollable. The worst part is, I feel alone. This is because, in my head, I’m being ungrateful by often complaining.
Burying my feelings is something I’m ironically good at. I do that all the time ever since I was a child. From receiving mean comments for being a fat kid from my own mother no less, to family and friends. I’m short and I have flawed skin. I learned early on that I am not pretty by beauty standards. Life is not as beautiful as I pictured in my dreams every night. I became a people-pleaser in order to get recognition. That was my drug & poison. I broke down into pieces, countless times. Every time the pieces got smaller and smaller, harder and harder to glue them back.
Even though I am aware of this behavior, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to walk away from it. I try my best but maybe I’ve broken all those decades ago. Past experiences built me the way I am today. The pain might be less but it never truly goes away, because they’re part of me, right? There are just certain things that will trigger me.
So what happens then when burying emotions isn’t working anymore? Nowhere to run. Well, the “good” thing is that I came to realize the roots of my endless problems. That means I am coming to terms with it, with every emotion. Not picking the happy ones over the negative ones. Not trying to hide. Whatever it is, I have to feel it. I need to be aware and be in touch with myself.
I am not perfect. I wish people would just accept that. And I wish people would accept that they’re not perfect too.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s humane.
By the time we reach the end of 2021, things are starting to get better-ish. A bit of a slow hike to some sense of normalcy. Some brands started to hold events, carefully, by doing it in sessions. Malls are getting more crowded and some even started to do holiday decorations again.
Everyone is just excited, but still tip-toeing carefully. Which is good, as everyone is trying to find their new place. Less of a judgment. Because everyone is experiencing the same thing, adapting.
Que sera, sera – whatever will be, will be.
Despite everything, I will never forget the core principles of my life; that kindness is free and I shall live with good intentions, wherever I am.