I just want to start by saying that this isn’t something anyone expected to go through, wanted to go through. It’s been a devastating time. If you told me in 2019 I wouldn’t be able to see my boyfriend, friends and family for months then I would have held them a little tighter and appreciated every moment together. Is it easy dealing with a worldwide pandemic? Absolutely not. Does it help to loose the rose tinted glasses and see life for what it really is? Yeah, I think so. I’ve got my own learnings from the whole lock down experience.
It puts a strain on relationships and friendships. Finding new ways to communicate, to check in with each other is tough. It’s not easy but you find ways. If you genuinely want to, then you will. Lock down has truly taught me who matters and who doesn’t. Who texts back and who doesn’t. Who genuinely cares and who doesn’t. Lock down is supposed to strengthen your connections, for some of mine it has and others it hasn’t. I have seen people go the extra mile for me, cherish me and others have slipped away in the distance. That’s life. It’s a tricky time but I have still made the upmost effort to make sure I am looking out for loved ones and doing what I can when I can, and then keeping the balance whilst keeping myself sane too. Lock down hasn’t been great on my mental health and I’m not embarrassed to admit that. I have struggled.
It has also opened up my eyes to the kind of life and lifestyle I want to create for myself. My twenties were non-stop. They were what they should be. Working in London, falling in and out of lust, drinking, partying and genuinely ‘doing life’ at one hundred miles per hour. Now that I’m a little older, I’m not saying I’m ready to ‘settle down’ but I am craving a bit of balance. Gone are the days of all nighters. I guess I’m looking for a new focus in life. A shift. I love my little hometown and I have finally realised that being local is what I have wanted all along. I have committed to jobs that have been located too far away and because of that I have sacrificed a lot of my personal life for my career.
So I’m slowing down on one hand but on the other I want to live more in the moment. This sounds contradicting but what I mean is that I used to beat myself up when I watched friends settle down, get married, buy houses and have babies. I’m just not there and that’s okay. Learning that the pace of life is different for everyone has been such an eye opener. Comparison really gets you down. It does for me anyway. It’s time to drop the expectations and appreciate the now, live a little bit more in the moment. Not every single life detail has to be planned to perfection. I’ve always set the bar too high and that’s a dangerous mindset to have. It can be debilitating. It can ruin things. Going with the flow is something that should be celebrated more.
Slowing down means more time for myself. I’m guilty of never putting myself first. I think I have lost a little bit of my own independence, even before we had to deal with lock down. I got into a bit of a rut with my time. Prioritising it for work, friends, boyfriend etc. I think I sort of stopped doing things that I wanted to do, something for me. Weekends suddenly stopped being a yoga class or a little treat for myself, perhaps a massage after a hard working week. I don’t remember a weekend that didn’t involve running around like a headless chicken to do the grocery shop, get the to do list ticked off, a whole load of people pleasing and not giving myself anything to enjoy. You can’t give to others if you’re not 100% happy with you.
On a more positive note, I feel a lot more body confident than I thought would be coming out of this experience. I have definitely piled on the pounds a little bit during lock down. Healthy didn’t really exist for me, not for the past four months anyway. Lots of moping around missing the boyfriend, drinking all the wine and eating non stop – basically eating my feelings. Then I saw this really powerful shift on Instagram, a wave of girls feeling some serious self-love and appreciation, suddenly the over edited photos stopped appearing on my feed. It was a game changer for how I felt about my own body. I uploading one of the ‘realest’ photos I have ever put on the ‘gram, which you can see here. It felt good to feel good and ‘normal’.
So there you have it, a few ramblings from me. It’s been a strange time. You’re not taught how to feel or act during something like this. There’s ups and downs. It has been a real test for so many. I’m looking forward to welcoming a little bit of routine into my life by heading back into the office part time next. I didn’t think I’d say it but bring it on!
It's Emma over email but Ems face-to-face. By title, I'm a writer, photographer, creative, social media co-ordinator and more importantly rosé drinker. I'm also a daughter, sister, auntie, girlfriend and friend. I overshare and I swear. I have been dedicating my time to this space for four years. Lifestyle topics are my specialty, with a dose of daily fashion thrown in for good measure.