Bring on October…


Sooo, a recap of my week thus far:

  • We had it confirmed we will be furloughed until the end of October. Which means not starting back at work until the 1st of November. If we don’t get recalled before then, it will mean we will have been furloughed for 7 months… that is insane, and something nobody could have seen coming at all. It really is interesting trying to balance my life with my worklife, and not seeing myself as worth less due to the lack of work. It is hard to try and enjoy being off work, without feeling guilty about it, or feeling the need to be productive. I am trying to enjoy the sunny weather and sit in the garden, but feel bad unless I am working or contributing some way too. My current routine is working in the mornings and relaxing in the afternoons, but I need to remember sometimes I can just take the day for myself without guilt

 

  • We booked a holiday! Myself and my two housemates have booked a cottage in the middle of yorkshire in the countryside to go and stay at for 3 nights next week. It isn’t the holiday we had planned for the year, but it will be SO nice to be away and somewhere different. It was really hard to find somewhere to stay with everything being booked up, but it should be really lovely. We have made it as covid safe as possible – it is just the three of us still, and we will be driving there and staying in a house alone, so essentially very similar to what we do here! We will take cleaning supplies and wipe down the kitchen and bathrooms when we arrive, but otherwise will spend the time enjoying the view and going on nice walks – it will jsut be such a good break for us mentally I think!

 

  • I have started finding a few jobs to apply for, which has been stressful but good. I am having to acknowledge that the heritage industry is crumbling, and I may need to look at other viable options in the charity sector. I hope that as long as my work feels meaningful and useful, then I will gain satisfaction from it. In reality, it breaks my heart to see the industry I love and value struggling so much, and I honestly don’t know how, or if, it will recover.

 

  • In terms of the virus itself…things seem to be easing off and from the 1st August pretty much everything seems to be opening as normal. It is crazy to see how some people truly seem to believe that everything is fine and gone, when the sad reality is it is still having a massive impact on people – maybe just not them.  I just checked the stats and so far the UK has had 301,445 confirmed cases and 45,961 confirmed corona deaths. That is, insane. It is still happening. We are being very careful as a house to not cause any further damage, and to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. We are still not using public transport (except my one time last week and when my housemate has to use it for his commute), eating out, visiting people etc. We are trying to see people at a distance in open spaces, and making the most of the nice weather to do so. I worry about what is it come in winter, so it is a hard balance of making the most of this summer whilst we can vs not being part of the problem when everyone goes crazy in summer and screws us up even more come winter.

 

I think that is a pretty fair summary of my life, and what is happening on a wider scale at the moment.

H x

First day on the tube…last day in the office


Enjoy transcripts of voicenotes over yesterday, which was my last day to go and clear my desk from the job I was made redundant from. I left out some details about specific names and places.  I specifically haven’t blogged much about my redundancy and the details because I don’t want that to be public, but it has been…SHIT. And I feel I have been treated very badly.  A lot of yesterday was processing that, and so I am not including that in these notes because the internet isn’t the place for them, and there is no way to make them any type of anonymous!

 

11:30am

hey, just did my first ttuuuuube. really pleased it went fine, I was soo careful. I didn’t touch anything and even had my hands tucked inside my jacket but then was like argh this will definitely be the time I fall down the flipping escalators and cant catch myself with my hands tucked in! It was fine, I got a seat. There was like 4 people in my whole carriage, at one point 6, but everyone had a whole bank of seats to themselves, everyone was wearing a mask. Sanitised my hands before, on the tube and I am about to when I stop.  Actually felt fine. They are getting busier during peak hours so I am going to try and leave today at like 330 to avoid that. Just walking through central, and I am a little emotional haha, I haven’t been in central London for sooo long. I came out the tube and got lost haha – I only did this commute for 5 weeks (so 10 times) before the lockdown, and not its been 4 months I forgot it! The streets are empty, its way less busy than where we live, I guess less residential here. I’m feeling so nervous about having to go on site and collect my stuff, and have people just watch me clear my desk, and not really sure what is there or what to get, but I want my things and want to check my desk and see what is there. The main thing I want is a book – my notebook where I had loads of ideas for the future in!

 

3:10pm

Yes so I am just leaving and walking back to the tube. Its 10 past 3 and should be on the tube in 10 mins so should still avoid everyone from work. I had such a nice day. I wasn’t really expecting to. Saw so many people! Everyone was just like, so pleased to see me…as I was to see them…it has just been so long. I feel like it might change over the next few days as I reflect, and …yeah…now I actually feel sad just talking about it. It just, felt like going home, so comfortable and….eugh. fuck. I guess that’s a pretty shitty feeling to still have there since, I don’t know if I am ever going to go there again, or see those people. Didn’t expect to go so emotional saying this out loud haha. Now I am tearing up walking along! Anyway, I met lots of people including my friend who came up to the office with me to clear up my desk so wasn’t alone, and chatted to a few people in the office who I haven’t seen in months, and it was nice to catch up with them although weird, because who knows when I will see them again….faaack. It is so sad. So Shit.  I guess over this time it felt like we grew apart but seeing them I remembered how much I miss them all, put it in perspective. Took all my plant pots, and some memory thing, and my notebook and stuff like that.   [ Then another 10 minute ramble about my day and the people I saw!]

 

 

10:45pm

Feeling a bit low. I am in bed trying to wind down for the eve. I guess it just hit me, I had such a nice time there today, and part of that is the buildings and the place…they just feel special to me, and I still walk through them and…get like..goosebumps. I think it is such a beautiful special place, and part of that is the people. So many people were like “so nice to see you” and genuine, and I realised how much I have missed them and how part of my life they are..or were…eugh. It just feels like a family …yes a weird dysfunctional shit one at times, but the connections were real. I can’t believe I don’t work there. I guess it is just hitting me again. It is just really shit. Feeling really sad. Trying to not sit with the sadness right now, because it will definitely mess up my sleep which has been crap anyway. But, I don’t really know how to process it. I just felt so comfortable, I loved the team I was in (mostly!), felt like I was so good at my job, and finally found somewhere I was confident and outgoing, and could make a difference, and could walk around comfortably and be part of the community and contribute and have connections with people and felt like I was thriving, and honestly reaching my potential. Everyone would have an interest in each others lives, and obviously not everyone because there was always drama, but for the most part. I found my place where I clicked. Where I wanted to click and keep clicking and just felt…happy. I loved going to work, every single day. I had a voice and a say, I had an influence and connections. There are so many other places I sometimes still feel an outsider because of working part time, but it didn’t feel it mattered there. I am just…so sad. I am kind of hoping I can verbalise this and get it off my chat and move it on. I am just really sad. I know I said that like three times and there are better words to describe that emotion, but right now I don’t have them. BLEUGH.

 

Into the 4th Month


Hello,

Lockdown life is weird. It is nice to have time at home, to get a break from working, to re-appreciate the things we have in life and the people we have connections with, but it is hard- to  deal with the stress, to stay separate, to fear, the unknown.

A lot in my life is unknown right now. And I am trying to be okay with that…most days I succeed at it, some days I fail. I think day to day, life is okay and we are safe and laughing and making the most of the situation, but other days, when I take a step back, it is so fucking scary. When is it safe to see my family again? When can I go see the guy I am dating and not worry? When will I get another job? Will my industry ever recover?  The Government are busy giving out advice to everyone, but I truly believe that just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. They are trying to encourage people back onto public transport, back to eating out etc but simultaneously saying that everyone should be wearing masks when in public – it is very mixed messaging. As of the start of August (in a week or so) pretty much everything is open again, and it is almost like returning to normal except social distancing is still supposed to be a thing.

I am struggling with that this week – how can it be okay to get the train, and go abroad, and go on holiday and clubbing, and go to museums and spas, and see family and friends, but not safe to hug my family? It makes no sense. It is hard to grapple with. I want to hug and be close to certain people, but then, is it worth the risk? If we fuck up, and get ourselves or someone else sick, it could mean death. That isn’t something to play around with. But also, until there is a vaccine will that ever go away? Is it okay to do a few “risky” things, if you follow all the other rules? If nobody else is following them, it makes it hard to keep doing so yourself, very much a “if they can do it, why can’t I?” mentality, but then remembering that actually it is because they are being selfish and careless and stupid. It is hard to keep strong when other people aren’t bothering.

Plus side, it is lovely warm weather and I am trying to make the most of the sun, and enjoy the free time. We should be finding out about our furlough this week, but it is currently the 21st of the month and we haven’t heard anything…cutting it fine for sure! I have also been assigned a careers coach lady from the job I got made redundant from, and that has been useful to have a few chats with her. I am not dedicating enough time to job hunting as I should…but it feels like I have so much else to do that it almost is unimportant? But actually it is just because ther are NO JOBS to apply to. I can’t do applications because there are none to apply to, and I am trying to come to terms with that and accept I may need to look elsewhere.

 

This has been a very mixed, very rambly post, and one without much meaning I fear. Just a little splurge for you to enjoy.

H x

My last day of work because of redundancy, a voice note.


During my redundancy process I sent SO MANY voicenotes to my friends, talking it out, venting, crying and more. I was disappointed by the way I was treated, and feel like I have passed my programme over to be torn up and ignored. It is hard to put blood sweat and tears for years into work, and see it torn apart. I went through different days of feeling differently about it – denial, anger, sadness, and somedays a bit of them all. I think it still doesn’t quite feel real, because I am still furloughed from my other role, so it isn’t as obvious right now if that makes sense? Everything is weird, and different, so the fact that the redundancy was happening didn’t seem as weird, in comparison to everything else. If I was going into the office, I would have noticed a lot more. 

 

Anyway, here is a voice note I sent my friends on the last day: 

 

 

Hey. I just finished my meeting, [Last day meeting with volunteers] it went fine. They [my manager and the CEO} basically went on and on about the shop, and how they were going to make money. There was a whole section on how well my team did, and how we managed to make loads of money and smash our targets and come out with surplus. That just felt like salt in the wound…um…yeah. I just, I just don’t like them at all. I didn’t really get to say very much, which was nice I guess.

I feel…really sad. My heart hurts.  There were about 9 or 10 of them that joined, and they are just, nice people. I feel really…sad [crying!]. I don’t really know what to do with myself now. I have a call to do later, and have work I should do but I don’t have the motivation and want to spend the time talking to my volunteers, I really miss them. I haven’t spoken to them in 4 months, and the Zoom meeting cut us off and most of the meeting was taken up with updates so they didn’t get time to chat, and I felt bad for that. They have had life changes and wanted to share, but didn’t manage to. That stuff matters to people, not just money and updates. These people are friends and also want to catch up, the updates can be shared on emails, the human interactions can’t. I just feel like I would have handled it differently, but obviously I didn’t get to have a say in that, because it isn’t my job anymore and that’s shit. They are going to have more regular updates now which is good, but it makes me so sad that that will be going on and I can’t join and won’t know.

I feel like it is finally sinking in…that is the last meeting I am going to host, the last time I will see them that way. It is just starting to feel really real. I just don’t want to leave. I do – I don’t want to work there, I have just worked so hard and these people are my friends and it really sucks. And the people I am leaving them with just don’t  care in the same way…the interest they have in their lives is so performative and for a purpose, and it makes me sad that they are all so helpful and lovely and they are going to be taken advantage of. It makes me so sad. It was so cute- on zoom you can private message people and everyone of them during the course of the chat messaged me to say such lovely things, and it was so nice, but so sad. I just feel so…sad. Stupid to keep saying sad but I don’t know how else to describe it. Very deflated.

 

Also, the CEO repeatedly said how she was looking forwards to “getting staff back”, acting like redundancy wasn’t a permanent thing, how we can just “resume our positions” and you just cant talk like that, it is so much more serious than that. And, if you do honestly think you can get everyone back in a few weeks or months, then absolutely fuck you for abandoning your staff in the  middle of a global pandemic. If you really believed you would need everyone in a few weeks then you put everyone through this emotional and financial trauma to save yourself a small amount of money, but you did it in a global pandemic when our industry is dying and no support for people to pay rent or anything, and it is just bullshit. This whole thing is bullshit. I am both raging and sad all at once. Gah.

 

 

 

 

 

Taking joy from the little things


Two days in a row..shocking!

There is nothing specific to say, I just wanted to denote that apart from all the BIG feelings, and the changes, and the thoughts on everything wider, there are also happy times. I have been both very happy, and also very sad, during this period, and I want that to be documented.

Last week I went to see two work friends at a National trust park, and we just walked around in the sunshine, dodging pouring rain showers, and it was LOVELY.  It was nothing special, just a walk in the park with a hot chocolate, but it was the first friends I had seen in months, and the first time I had got a take away drink from somewhere, and it was wonderful and revigorating and happy.  I have been enjoying going home, sitting in the garden and talking to people. There is nothing to do but talk, and that has made me appreciate the conversations I get to have with so many different people. On Saturday I went to my Aunties with my Dad and Grandma and we had a meal in the Garden. It was the first time I had not taken my own plates, and cups, the first time I had eaten food someone else had cooked at someone elses house in MONTHS (apart from takeaways!). And it was absolutely wonderful. It is the little things, that can really make you happy. This weekend we went on a walk in the surrey hills, and it was beautiful with hot weather and good views. We got a burger from a van (another first since March) and then an ice cream from the truck. We wiped them down, and gelled our hands, but we still did it. We sat on an old wooden bench in the sun and ate them, and it was honestly so lovely. The little things are bringing joy, and focussing on them and enjoying them is so important right now. 🙂

H x

4 Months since normality


Today is the 9th July 2020, which is exactly 4 months to the day since my little Brothers 9th birthday. On the weekend before we went to a safari zoo, and it was the last day of normality for me really! We were already being overly cautious…washing our hands about 10 times during the day, sanitising the table and cutlery etc- but we were definitely in the minority. 4 months ago today was a Monday, his actual birthday, where I went to see him for Birthday breakfast then got the train into work. We did 4 more days of work before I came home for the weekend, (we actually did do fun things that weekend too, so maybe technically just under 4 months!), and then pretty much lockdown started. I was away on a staycation with my mum and family and couldn’t come back to normal, because lockdown had begun and lots of people -eg my housemates and some of my family, were sick. Anyway, point of this long ass introduction is to say that it has been A LONG TIME now. And signs of change are here, but so is stress.

Today I was meant to get the tube for the first time into Central to go and visit someone from my old work, but my anxiety overcame me and I wasn’t able to go. The stress of if it was irresponsible, if I could make them sick, if I could get sick, if I got sick how sick would I get, of making my family sick, of wanting to get closer and seeing my family more but not being able to do that without feeling guilty if I took extra risks…etc. I am going to try to work out how to see them by walking and meeting in parks, but it is tricky. We live quite far out of central in South London, and it is normally fine, but without public transport can be quite isolating and difficult to get to places.

This Tuesday just gone (2 days ago) I did my last day at the job I am being made redundant from. It was a hard day. I cried. I was mad, frustrated and sad. It finally felt a bit real. I just was not ready to go, and hate the way we have been treated and pushed out. It was a really sad day for me- I should have been on my annual trip with my two best friends, road tripping around Scotland and making memories; instead the trip was cancelled, I have no idea when I will see them again, and I was leaving a job that I wasn’t excepting to 8 weeks earlier. It was a tough day.

4 months is a really long time, but also a really short time in some ways. It is a long time to be locked in your house, unable to see friends and family and to not partake in any social or fun activity outside your home…it is a really short time to adjust to job loss, changes in the heritage market, and the economic and long term impacts that will come from this.

We are now able to, from 4 July, go into other houses, and so many places have opened eg pubs, cinemas, shops etc. As a house we have decided to not go to these, because it still doesn’t  feel safe, and people are not enjoying the places responsibly enough for us to feel able to go and remain distant. The behaviour of some, is incredible. Just because you can, does not mean you should. They are selfish, stupid, and going to bring about more illness if they are not careful. I have been very much enjoying access to the car here, and have been able to go home at least once a week to see family in the garden. The last week I have conceded and gone inside during a thunder storm, but managed to sit very far away and stay distant, with windows open to help air flow. Life is returning to normal, slowly, but honestly too quickly for my liking with carefree abandon from many. I want to hug my family, celebrate with friends, enjoy a summer in London, but I don’t think it is safe to do so, and not sure when it will.

The job market is also terrifying right now… Museums and Heritage institutions are making redundancies left right and centre, with no silver lining on the horizon thinking about when this may change. I have my one job (3 days per week) for now, and am grateful for this, and hoping it remains stable. I also have picked up some part time work earning money doing essentially admin work, which is good to take the stress of me financially. This will be the first month I need to earn a good amount from this to contribute to my bills etc, so I need to get into the routine of putting in the hours, instead of easing myself in.

In wider news, international travel is being allowed – with travel corridors being established with a list of countries which we can now visit without needing to isolate on our return. I hope this is done safely…I fear it will not be!

The world is quite a scary place at the moment, with hope starting to creep in, but disbelief and worry coming in equal measures as the hope of change.

H x

2 weeks later


Hi All,

( I love how I still say “all” as if there is an audience…what I actually mean is “hello future self, the only person reading this”!).

It has been a few weeks (about 11 days I think) since my last post- woops. Luckily I haven’t slipped completely out the habit.  As of now, lockdown is easing even futher- new announcements were made this week that from the 4th July we will have a lot more freedom. That is exciting, but scary. And to be honest, a lot of the changes don’t make sense to me. For example, from the 4th July we can go into peoples houses, stay over, go to restaurants, cinemas, bars, pubs, hairdressers, places of worship etc but are still meant to keep at least 1, preferably 2, metres apart at all times. That is just feasibly not possible in most instances, and surely just means that people will not do the correct distancing. It worries me – the day of the announcement we still had more cases that day than all the rest of Europe combined- why the hell does that seem like a good time to reduce our measures and make changes? Will the Govt actually change back and put measures back into place if they need to? Would the country even survive if they had to? It is scary, and uncertain times.

I have been making the most of the good weather (it is currently about 33 degrees as I sit here writing this, and although we had a week of rainy weather it has been super sunny and lovely for almost all of lockdown. This is both wonderful – can be outside, but brutal – think of all the fun we could have been having!) and have been going to do socially-distanced visits in people’s gardens. I went home for the first time, and saw my family. I cried. Obviously. It is so lovely to see them, but so shit to not be able to sit with them, touch them, share food, etc. My little brother kept holding up notes saying he missed me and could I come home, and it honestly nearly broke me! It was worth the heartache and the difficult goodbyes though, because I got to see them! My mum has very kindly lent me her car to bring to London, so now have a lot more freedom and have been home a few times and plan to drive to see some friends in their gardens too. so exciting! I was struggling before, feeling trapped in the kitchen and living room in an endless cycle of not-that-much, so having the freedom to get out and move about as I wish is incredibly good for my state of mind.

We are still exercising a good amount, and really enjoying kickboxing. I have also, as of this week, started the couch to 5k runs, and am hoping to be able to build up my stamina to get to a 30 minute run in the next few months. The aim is to be able to do park runs, and mabe a 5k tough mudder. I am writing this here to try and hold myself accountable -so fingers crossed!

I have been officially furloughed until the end of July from one role, and obviously still need to job hunt for my other. I am doing this “in between” job for now, calling people and making appointments etc. I am lucky that it pays well and can be done from home, and have to remind myself what a privileged position this puts me in. I am enjoying it slightly more as I get into it, but it definiteiyl isn’t a passion! Having said that, it will keep the money coming in and let me live the life I want to lead.

Also – note to future self- one of my housemates just put in an offer and had it accepted on a house nearby, so hopefully we will be moving into that at the end of the year. It is at the same tube station, although a little further walk away, but much bigger and nicer. We want to redo the kitchen and bathrooms, so that is an exiting project to keep my mind busy!

The world seems like it is returning to normal quite quickly, and I am not entirely sure that is a good thing. We shall see.

H x

All of a muddle


My brain is all over the place, so here come’s a thought dump….

  • I am grateful to be healthy and safe during these times, and I know so many people are in a worse position, which means that anytime I feel down or stressed it sometimes also makes me feel guilty- people feel worse, so what right do I have to feel bad? But, this isn’t healthy or helpful.  It is okay to be unhappy or stressed, and trying to force myself to not be isn’t useful.
  • The days are losing meaning! It makes little difference to me if it is a weekend or not, and although I am trying to give myself some sort of routine…it is REALLY difficult.
  • I am lucky enough to have been offered a part time, working from home, relatively well paid role which involves calling people and trying to set up appointments. I was feeling pleased with this as it will reduce my financial issues, and give me the flexibility to keep looking for other roles I like more. But, I hate it. I really hate calling people and being rejected constantly, I hate feeling like I am harassing people on the phone about things I don’t care about. I hate it. I want to be able to push through and do the role, and earn the money, but I have never hated work before.
  • I am sad, and still processing my job less. Some days it feels okay, other days I am overwhelmingly sad about it. I loved that place, and my role, and felt like I was really good at my job and made a difference. And to lose that, is sad. To lose it in such a callous way, being treated badly – is very sad, and hurtful.
  • I feel lost; I don’t know where I will be in 6 months, let alone 5 years. What will I be doing? What should my plan be? Will I be stable?
  • I feel my biological clock ticking…which sounds dramatic, but it is true. Being single doesn’t bother me as much anymore, until I get pangs of panic about my life and where I would like it to be. I would like to be settled and secure enough to have a family, but that seems a long way off. Some days, that is a wonderful thing – I love being able to have the freedom to do what I want, with who I like without all the responsibility, but one day I want that- and it feels far away.
  • I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to explore. I want to meet new people, see new cultures, learn more about the place where we live. But, how do I do that and also keep a job? Will doing that sacrifice my career? Does that matter? Is it worth it? Could I just restart or get a different career? Is it running away or is it taking advantage of an opportunity? Who knows…not me!
  •  This pandemic is terrifying. I am scared of being sick, of getting someone sick, of someone I love getting sick. I am scared a lot of the time, but sometimes you can forget about it…and then when it comes back it is even more scary?! How is that possible? When will this be over? I can’t wait for the day I can see my friends, and hug my family. I will not be taking such things for granted again. Never in my life did I think I would be living through a situation where even hugging my family could hurt them, and I wouldn’t be able to be in the same room as them for months at a time.
  • Black Lives Matter. They always have, and they always will. I am excited by the momentum and passion in this movement, and long may it continue. I am surprised by some people’s reactions, and frustrated by my own lack of knowledge. I am working on this, to become an ally, and it takes up a lot of brain power to process and work out how best to support.

There is a lot going on. It is a confusing time. There are days and moments of happiness- day-to-day most things are okay and happy and I am lucky, but it is also a constant undertone of stress and fear. Each day changes as to which you feel the most. Happy and content, lying in the sunny garden, eating ice cream and having drinks with your friends; vs sitting alone for hours wondering what is next in your life, if you are a failure and how to pull yourself out of the hole of misery. Both are my reality in this lockdown. Weird.

 

H x

Some days are better than others…


Hi,

So after yesterdays mega ramble, I just wanted to pop up and try to leave a more thoughtful note to my future-self when I re-read these (hello!). I guess what I have been trying to express is the good and the bad, and the fact that this feels weirdly normal and still alien, and is both incredibly stressful but also freeing, and sometimes feels nice and others awful and…it is confusing. And difficult. And wonderful and free. And shit. And liberating to have nothing to do. And full of possibilities. And yet also seems hopeless. It is a weird, weird time. I am sure I will want to be able to reflect back on this time, and living through it, and I hope these entries help me to remember it.

Today, and this week ,I am feeling a bit bleugh. The weather has turned, it is colder and overcast meaning we are staying in the house instead of the Garden more, which isn’t a massive difference, but psychologically feel a lot more trapped in. We have had a few arguments within our house this week, with tensions boiling over. We had a really good talk yesterday and processed and everything feels happier now, but it is still just a really intense time. It made me take a step back and appreciate everything that is going on right now. On a day to day this feels normal, and you can feel happy and free and engaged and motivated, but when you reflect on the wider world it is crushingly scary, and overwhelming. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, with a shocking, lying government in charge, unable to work or see our family or friends, and no idea when this will end. Mixed with that is a massive social movement which is clearly overdue, and I hope will continue, but the two combine to form a volatile environment.  It is scary. It has moments of happiness. But it has moments of sadness.

It has been months now, with nothing to do with my time. I am running out of ideas, motivation and more. A little insight into a train of thought:  It is hard to wake up every day with absolutely nothing to do, be stuck within the confines of the house (pretty much) and want to enjoy the free time, and yet too much free time is no good and yet I don’t raelly have free time because I should spend it looking for jobs but there are no jobs to apply for so then is it free time? But if it is then I feel guilty for doing nothing productive, but what is there that I can even do?

Time is passing, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. But today, it feels very real that we are living through historic times.

H x

Frustration builds, the pot is bubbling over.


I have tried really hard to calmly document my feelings, and the general situation within our society over these past few posts, but today I just need to vent. Back to how this used to be. A stream of consciousness.

I want to preface this by saying I KNOW there are bigger things in the world. And I KNOW I have a lot to be grateful for. But, some days are easier than others, and this isn’t a great day. Today feels tough, and sad, and I need to let that out somewhere.

I am absolutely SICK to the back teeth of people not taking the virus seriously, and not fully following the lockdown. My step dad has decided to drive up north, see his kids, fix up a van, and then come back. We argued on the phone and then he stopped taking my calls, ignored my texts, and I think my Mum thinks I am overreacting. She said that it isn’t ideal, but we have to pick our battles and where to draw our lines in the sand. But that is HERE AND NOW. We are in the midst of a global pandemic where people are dying, it is literally life and death, now is the time to stand your ground, fight for what you believe is right and actively choose to put protecting those we love over what we want to do. It makes me angry that he can be so selfish – despite his kids saying they want him there, he will see almost the whole family, potentially spread germs between them and then bring those home again. I don’t understand what people don’t understand. He said he would sleep in the motorhome but…if you come inside to shower, use the loo, cook your food, watch TV, then WHAT IS THE POINT. Do it properly, else there is no point.

My housemate is also causing me stress in this way – we are going home for the first time in 3 months on Saturday to see our families. We are now allowed to sit in gardens 2m away. I can get into both my parents gardens without going through the house, am planning to take a packed lunch and plenty of bottled water home with me, and just sit at the end of the garden and chat. I won’t be going near any of them, despite the fact I want nothing more than to bury myself back into the centre of them all. She on the other hand is going to sit at her family table in the garden and share a BBQ and some drinks with them. It outrages me. Why be half arsed? How much more work is taking home your own food to eat, and sitting far away? If you can’t do it properly, you shouldn’t be doing it at all. You are risking all the people you care about, and coming back and putting us at risk too. It makes my blood absolutely boil.

In both these cases I end up coming off as the bad person, the one who sticks to the rules and believes they are there for a reason. The one who calls them out on being selfish, and not doing enough. I truly believe in what I am saying, and am only saying it to protect people, and I don’t know why so many people in my life do not get it, and can’t make those decisions on their own. It isn’t hard. Don’t go in peoples houses, don’t go more than 2m closer to them, don’t pass things between you. HOW HARD IS THAT. In both instances both my Mum and housemate have said they agree, but just didn’t want to get involved. Grow a backbone. Why is it up to me to be the one people get angry at? Why is it my job to stand up and say it is wrong? Just because I am the one who is most vulnerable? I can’t articulate my frustration and anger.  Why should some people have to have their children dying alone in a hospital because you can’t be with them, but you think the rules don’t apply to you and you are safe from harm because you made a half arsed attempt? All or nothing, this is not the time to be slack.

There is so much happening in the world right now. The virus. The increasing tide of change coming with the Black Lives Matter Movement. The job insecurity, everything. I get nervous talking about BLM, incase I say the wrong thing, or upset someone, or…something. But, that changed this week. I have for too long sat comfortably in my privilege, thinking that doing nothing bad was enough, but it isn’t. My eyes are open, and it is a painful experience full of guilt and confusing feelings, but one I am committed to embarking on. I have ordered books, downloaded podcasts, written to my MP, donated to funds and am commited to making an active change in my life to make the changes our society needs. It makes me nervous just writing this, and saying out loud (virtually!) that this is a lot for me to process. It is taking a lot of my emotional intelligence to work through the feelings in a way that doesn’t detract from the ACTUAL issue, which isn’t me feeling bad or guilty, but the issue of racism being ingrained in our society. I want to talk about my thoughts, and what I plan to do, and when I do things if they succeed or not, but I also want to acknowledge that it is something that takes time to process. The issue is, it shouldn’t and I know by saying I need a minute to process makes it about me, and that in itself detracts from the issue. It is complex, and confusing, but I promise to try, and to keep trying.

On another, more personal note, I am worried about my job situation. I am trying to stay positive, apply to what I can, look at alternate routes  – eg applying to be a teaching assistant and more. But, it is scary. I worked so hard to get to where I got to, and that got snatched away in a few short weeks. I am lucky to have my health, and some savings, and I am by no means dismissing that, but it doesn’t mean that, for me, right now, this is something to overcome. A lack of plan, and a very blurry future, is stressful.  And, it isn’t just me that is feeling this way. Most of my friends have days of feeling overwhelmed, stressed, upset, and more. It is hard to navigate my own feelings whilst supporting them, and not ending up in a cycle of despair. I also want to note here, that most days we are doing well. I am happy, I am filling my time, I am taking satisfaction in the little things (yesterday I took a walk in the sun, sat in a local quiet cemetery, reflected, read my book, came home and had cake in the garden) – but IT IS HARD. And I don’t think we necessary realise how much we are all juggling until we take a step back.

At the very back of my mind, is a little bit of worry that all this change and stress is going to trigger my crohns. I am so lucky to be on no medication, and if I was then I would be isolating fully for 12 weeks and stuck shielding, so I am so grateful that I am not on medicine, but it scares me. I am already more vulnerable, but what if something happens and I have to take drugs again, and then my position changes again? What if I have to go in for more tests, and I have to do everything alone – plus being in a hospital right now is not where I want to be! It is all scary, and unknown.

 

I am tired. I miss my family. I want to see and squish my siblings. I want to give my grandma a hug. I want racial change to happen. I want to know I have an income in 6 weeks time. I want my passion and my skills to be recognised and appreciated in the field I choose to work in, and not thrown aside. I want my friends to be safe.  I want my health to hold out. I want so much, and my brain is hurting trying to process it all.

H x