Hands - CC via pikist
CAIRO - 21 April 2020: This is day 30 in my quarantine.
I've been working from home for a month now, adhering to social distancing rules. And even though I don't mind staying at home, the situation is peculiar, as Neil Webb says: "you are not working from home; you are at home during a crisis trying to work," and this resonates so much with me.
The last time I stayed home this long was 14 years ago. It was the first month of the summer holiday after I finished college and right before I had my first job the following month. I remember spending quality time that month reading books, talking with friends over the phone, and being full of energy for the unknown future ahead.
And from summer 2006 on, I was busy doing something, useful or not is irrelevant.
I was caught up in everyday maze everyone seem to experience at some point, I kept on following someone else's guidelines of how to lead a life, you know like putting "bungee jumping" on my list of resolutions even though I'm afraid of heights and doing that will not bring me any sort of happiness, if not a heart attack.
Just as I started to free myself from expectations set by the society and the young me, new expectations formed as the lockdown set in.
A decade and half later, I found myself once again at home, but the world is no longer the same.
There is a sense of distorted connection. It's like each one is drifted on a small island alone, yet not entirely alone. You get to see what all others are doing in their islands because of social media. It is the new world order, and the fastest the rules on how to adapt in quarantine are being put, the sooner the new guidelines of what a new life should be are written.
People seem to be making the most of their times; here is a young lady making a workout course online, there is a man who is giving advice on how to learn a language "using the time," and here is me feeling pressured to follow the "new world guidelines.”
These people are heroes and should be looked up at, but for anxious people like me who are finding it hard to adapt while following the curve of death with its black cape reaping lives in almost every country on Earth;
Here are my new guidelines:
- Don't be pressured, love, to arrive somewhere. Take your time; you are in the right direction if you listen to your inner whispers that say "I'm tired today, I'll try again tomorrow. "
- It's ok to be afraid. This too shall pass.
- Don’t lose hope on yourself, all is possible. One step at a time.
- Anxiety, stress and loneliness are still parts of you, be patient. Patience is only a virtue during testing times.
- It's not a productivity contest. It's ok to feel not ok. Don't take it your heart.
- Breathe. Life is nothing but a constant state of change.
- Fall. Rest. Rise. Fight.