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Since returning from Japan, I knew that my life would never be the same and that unknown phase of evident change was going to be scary yet exciting. Having resettled into my hometown to familiarise myself with the new normal, I was already planning for the next adventure. Balancing everything, work, family, friends, me time and I began discovering new inspiration, creating exciting ideas - all without knowing what was coming over the horizon.
Don't worry, that word will only show once here. I feel this virus has had much of the spotlight since it emerged at the bringing of the year. And you and I both know we've been bombarded for months now with emails, social media, news and "word on the street" on how this virus has now and will continue to affect everyone's lives globally.
So rewind to spring 2020 I was about to come out of hibernation, which took lots of planning and I was all set for Sweden. But as more details were coming to light on the severity of this new outbreak situation, I was on autopilot. Proactively trying to stay optimistic while managing damage control, and then I somehow became cocooned within my anxiety of how I was going to see my friends, family, thrive creatively, let alone maintain a healthy income.
Fortunately for me, I've been able to continue working remotely, and the quarantine period was to be used to pause, slow down and reflect on our ways of living, our health. In the short-term, I was able to manage these new restrictions. But by sixth week I struggled to write and started to go into a state similar to Friends's Joey and Chandler "inside good, outside bad".
As the weeks progressed, everything grew blurred, and I was getting lethargic and would oversleep even overeat to past whatever time. Some levels of OCD emerged, and I'd strictly only order groceries to be delivered, so I didn't have to leave the house and can minimise human contact. I would still communicate by phone and online conferencing, but add this method to my current work got me fatigued and I would have to take naps through the day to stay sharp.
Amongst all of this, I found solace in going over my previous travels and published artwork. It was a though these personal artefacts provided that well-needed escapism I was ever so craving - then it hit me!
"Sometimes you have to look back, to remember how to move forward."― Marcela Valdes
And just like that, I outlined how I was getting out of this limbo.
Fast forward today, and like the world, I'm adapting to the new normal. Summer is finally here, and with the gradual restoration of the freedoms coming back into focus, I've restructured the months, weeks, even days, evidently rediscovering my love for cultural exploration in new and exciting ways.