The Things Quarantine’s Taught Me So Far

Where should I even start? I honestly don't know. It is not easy to put all the emotions, thoughts, worries and reactions I've had in the latest months into a couple of sentences. I guess it would be fair to say that this whole year was a mess and is still showing us how it is different (chaotic) than other years in the weirdest ways possible. I have always been an introvert, spending majority of my time at home is not a problem for me like it is for some people. However, during the first weeks of quarantine, it has been a complete disaster for me and I felt so bad because of many reasons. First of all, I realized that it is much more different than staying at home by your own choice and since you're not allowed to go out it simply puts more pressure on you. Also the ambiguity of the situation and the disease causing many deaths all around the world have made me worried like the rest of the people. I couldn't find the energy to do ‘productive' things and use the quarantine time efficiently like all influencers on social media have promoted. The ‘look on the bright side' motto hasn't worked out for me, especially in the beginning. I needed to sit down and feel whatever I had to feel without suppressing any emotion because acting like nothing has changed could have made me go insane. Talking to my friends and family members really helped me to rearrange my mindset, at least I've known that I wasn't alone and sharing experiences and thoughts made me feel a bit better. Not checking up on news every single day has helped me too because I knew that there is nothing I can do to end the pandemic, only things I can do are taking precautions, following the community health laws and boosting immune system by consuming healthy. After getting over the first weeks, I became more used to the situation and surprisingly okay with the fact that I haven't seen any of my friends since march. Even though the quarantine process is not as strict as it was before, I still think it's necessary to stay inside or go to more isolated places since the pandemic is not over (while wearing mask of course). I was missing my friends so much at first, I still miss them but right now I'm okay with being alone and not going out. Maybe this has something to do with my personality, I like spending time by myself, but I also feel like I found my inner peace and let go of trying to control what's happening around me. I can't change certain things so why not adopt to them in my own way? Not by other people telling me how should I spend my spare time and be ‘productive', but by freeing myself to do whatever I want I slightly become happier each day. Although I still have bad days and get moody sometimes, I am pleased with the way I chose to get through these days. I read, I listen to music that I like, watch videos and chat with friends, distance myself from all the toxic contents. I also stopped comparing what I do to other people's activities and their way of handling things since everyone copes with issues differently. This gave me such a relief, that I don't have to please anyone and don't have to be ‘ideal', and allowed me to enjoy my time more. During this process, I also noticed that we have lots of things to be grateful for yet we don't express our gratitude enough. Social interactions, going to a place without considering safety risks, school experiences, clean and fresh air,… most importantly health. Not going to mention how earth cleaned itself a bit, air and water pollution has decreased as seen in photos, with most of the human population staying inside the nature has popped its beauty out. Even a lot of people prefer not to care, the world doesn't only belong to us and we share our home with other species. This means we are responsible for the damage we cause and should consider the outcomes of our actions more. Not just specifically from the environmental aspect, but the social and cultural aspect too. Rather than spreading hate and being discriminative, we should aspire to be more embracing and kind because this pandemic also showed we need each other more than we thought. If we fill ourselves with love and treat people with the love we carry inside, it will spread across communities and without even noticing we may inspire lots of people and contribute to well-being of earth both physically and socially. As cliche as it sounds, it is so accurate that we can be the change we want to see in the world by altering our behaviours.

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Bernard Jan

Award-winning, multi-genre author, novelist,...

Zagreb, Croatia