I’ve now been in quarantine for 39 days. 6 weeks nearly. It’s been easily the most obscure chapter of my life, in a year that was earmarked for self-improvement and discovery. A cliche tale but one that I can’t escape from.
It’d be irresponsible to not act as if I haven’t at least been able to start the discovery and self-improvement. I joined a full-time course, I’ve made some really great friends, and I feel in some ways more comfortable than I ever have in my skin. But it’s not always that good.
The confines of my house and being left to my own devices has brought a lot of negativity to me. I’m ultimately mourning the loss of our collective lives still. A huge part of our culture and sense of identity has been stolen by this crisis. We’re no longer able to be truly ourselves – we can’t – we’re stuck. Society as a whole on ice.
It’s obscure what I’m finding myself missing from day-to-day life. I miss my dull boring commute into the city, looking forlornly out the bus window. I miss the smells of Ultimo – coffee, cigarettes, and gasoline. The dumb conversations I’d have with my friends and the sense of belonging I felt.
The Belle and Sebastian lyric “colour my life with the chaos of trouble” oozes into my mind constantly as I almost cynically look back at my naive self from two months back who didn’t realise how much free reign I had. I miss having that chaos of trouble available to me.
The other major emotion has been a strong sense of nostalgia, and perhaps a romanticised view of the past. Music about suburbia, neighbourhoods, and songs about feeling a belonging to a place have been top of mind recently. I’ve assigned a certain value towards the nebulous concept of suburbia. Lately I’ll hear a song and immediately be transported to somewhere else, but not somewhere foreign, but rather nearby and local. To my suburbia. A nostalgia for the sounds of then.
There’s beauty to home and where you are and how it defines you. The Killers song Smile Like You Mean It rings awfully true to me at the moment – getting so bogged down in old memory of your world and your local area that it almost stops you from creating new memories or accepting the now.
For 2020, the “now” is an obscure place. One we won’t probably look back on with fond memories. A black splodge in our histories. Maybe that isn’t so bad. Maybe it’s also not so smart to hold such heavy regret for the past which you cannot fix. This whole… scenario we’re living in has made me reaffirm a belief I’ve held for a while now. Live your life, be what you want, feel what you feel, get out there, and do something. Don’t look back on regrets or dwell on them much.
When life resumes as normal, live it.