Hello, dear friends!
It’s been a while, and a lot has changed since I last posted on here. Like most of us here probably, the days have been a bit mixed. Some good, some not so good, some worse. Studying is proving to be a bit difficult at the moment as there are no definite plans, and me being me, well, the lack of structure has been getting to me a bit. I can’t focus on reading that much, although I have been trying, and I’ve been spending my days in deep reflection, trying to change my habits, getting some amount of studying or revision done, listening to Disney soundtracks, and occasionally passing the hours with some creativity (mainly photography), and rewatching old favorites on Netflix.
And whilst most of us at home and a number of us are on the front lines, working tirelessly to make sure that things run as smoothly as we need to, we are all experiencing a profound sense of change. We are living in a new reality, and with this new reality brings a lot of discussions, but also a lot of noise – what we should do, how we should spend our time, how we should be feeling, more ways to spend the little money that we have. And worst of all, in my opinion, is the reassuring voices that things will go back to ‘normal’, that things will be the same after we have been given the all-clear to go out again.
But I want to say that it will not be the same. Things will never be the same after this because these turns of events have shown us that the normal that we used to live in isn’t sustainable, and it isn’t as good as we thought it was.
In this strange time of our social media feeds being filled with daily updates, lists of things to do whilst staying inside, affirmations for not doing much, and reassurances to slow down and take stock, we are being pulled in a number of directions, and maybe feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and at a loss for what to do. We are being faced with the lack of actions and routines that have provided us with some sense of purpose, but, left us blind to the things that mattered most. We are afloat, wondering how to ground ourselves again after everything we have taken for granted is no longer within our grasp.
Our eyes have also been opened to things that we can no longer ignore; such as the effects of pollution on our cities and overall lives; our spending habits and lifestyles which many of us struggle to keep up with; a number of workplaces and some governments have shown their true colors (and yes, there is some shade implied). Overall, the most important thing we have seen is that the world we live in, is not the world that is the best, most sustainable and happiest for us all; and that is what we need to focus on now, more than ever before.
This is a time of uncertainty and discomfort, but it is also a time for possibility.
So, what is the next step for us now?
As a student who is about to end one chapter of her life, and will enter the working force (hopefully sooner rather than later), seeing how the economy has been affected by COVID-19 has opened my eyes to a few things. The economy is taking a huge hit, and I understand the importance of keeping it alive. But, we need to focus on the workers too. We need to focus on the well-being of the people. Overall, there seems to be too much focus on money and the economy, and less on the wellbeing and safety of people, as recent events in Malta have shown. It’s heartwarming to see that there are a number of kindhearted people too and that people and businesses are adapting; overall, however, things need to change. But two things that I think have been made abundantly clear about all this, are what we need to guide us in these distressing times:
- We are capable of great kindness and change in times of crisis
- A lot of us are barely getting by with the lifestyle we’re currently living in. It is not enough, and we need to focus less on the destructive economy and culture of money, and more on how we can improve the quality of the lives of those living in it.
What do we do with this information?
As I’ve said, there are a number of sites and social media posts saying what we should and should, and ironically, by making this post I’m also participating in this. So, what I’m gonna write instead are some things that have been helping me:
- Taking care of my surroundings, and myself.
- Reflecting on my life. Am I happy with where I’m going, or what I’ve been doing? What do I want or need to change?
- Reaching out and strengthening relationships.
- Taking things day by day.
We are experiencing a time where things are changing every day. We do not know when things will get back to ‘normal’. But, when things do calm down, and we can go outside again, ‘normal’ will no longer be the same. It should not be the same, and I am looking forward to seeing how things will change in the future.
Like I said before, some days are good, and some are not. And that’s okay – you honestly can’t expect to get so much done when we’re in such uncertain times. Some work, and some rest. There is no right or wrong. I have been resting and slowing down; which I did feel guilty about, although now I know that this is what is needed for me to grow and adapt with the times.
What’s been helping me recently is reminding myself that this is the start of something new, and something better, and maybe, just maybe, something greater. We need to remind ourselves that we are not alone in this predicament and that the key to getting out of this is by working as a community. We need to keep our spirits up; but if you can’t, then that’s okay too. Ride the wave, be gentle with yourself and do what you need to do to get through this.
So, from the bottom of my heart, I hope that you will take this time to hold to your hopes, and take those first steps to peace, happiness, kindness, and connection.
What change do you want to see happen? Let me know in the comments below.
Written by: Alexia DeBono
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