Before the plot twist…
February 26, 2020
Here we go again. I am feeling the exhaustion that comes with my ordinary life. Will I remain the same forever?
I was living an average life before the pandemic happened. I used to rant about the minuscule things forever like they are the world’s biggest problem.
After all, I am a 20-something corporate woman trying to make her legacy. Young. Ambitious. Determined. I have my life planned out down to a tee. Vision boards. Goal Trackers. Progress Monitoring. Planners. I have everything that would make me stay laser-focused. I pour my resources into the achievement of my dreams.
Nothing can deter me from achieving my goals.
Or so I thought.
Everything came to a sudden halt when the coronavirus came. My plans were deemed useless. I was disoriented by the plot twist no one predicted (and wanted). I was clueless. I was a mess. I was imprisoned by the high walls that the pandemic built. I stayed in one place even if I was meant to discover the world.
A year had passed since the quarantine was first declared. I may have gotten used to breathing in this new life, but my heart yearns for the past. Yes, I know reminiscing will never turn them back. Yet please indulge me.
Memories were rushing down playing like my favorite TV show in front of me. I could not make myself look away or turn off the show. I said I would not care less but I know I do. Deep inside I wanted to see how my past life goes.
This was my life before the pandemic.
It was a typical workday. I was in the law office, taking care of some documents.
The television was on and the news was all about the COVID-19 – its first Philippine case, alcohol shortage, and the grave situation in Wuhan – the epicenter of the virus.
Back then, it felt distant. Faraway. COVID-19 was a tale I hear on the news.
It happened to people from the other side of the world, not to me. I was indifferent. I had far more important matters to attend to. I was busy beating deadlines and meeting expectations. I would not be affected anyway.
I was even annoyed, “So what, if people buy more alcohol? They could just manufacture more.”
It was my last taste of a normal day.
Then the president announced the lockdown.
The show shifted to a new scene.
We were in a meeting. Our manager asked us about the seminar we attended in Manila. More lessons were taught. We shared stories. We exchanged jokes We laughed. We were carefree – absorbed in our little realm. Life was much easier back then.
Another scene played.
I was in the mall – admiring bonsais in the exhibit. I was busy taking photos, observing the plants, and making unsolicited opinions.
It was mundane. Nothing extraordinary. At least we were free.
At times, I would go through my journals, and photos to reminisce the times I can move around. There was nothing holding me back except my own limitations. Now, I have a lot of problems to worry about – my family’s health, my safety, the future, among others.
I took the little blessings for granted – traveling, eating out with colleagues, going to parties, attending exhibits and bazaars, meeting new people, watching in cinemas.
All of these are gone.
I should have been thankful.
I am used to complaining for eternity. Now I am grateful.
I wish I could go back. I know I never will.
February 19, 2021
This week is like the others. Nothing monumental. It is only about going with the routine. That is okay. Steady is fine. Steady is safe.