Slow Sunday thoughts

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The clocks went back today which means we’ve been dealing with this pandemic shite for eight whole months now. Eight months of stress, anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic on top of the qualms of day to day life. It’s been a rough ride…

I am back living in London now and every time I get on the train I feel, weirdly, a little sad that my face isn’t squished up into tall sweaty man’s armpit and I also do kind of miss being a bit sassy to guys who piss me off in bars (don’t mess with me after two wines is all I’m sayin’), and really I just miss being in busy places around lots of random people without having to worry about picking up a deadly virus… 

We just don’t interact with strangers anymore and it still feels so WEIRD sometimes. When we were in lockdown-lockdown, not able to leave the house, ‘you must stay at home’ times, we had zero social interaction and in some ways that was easier to process because we knew where we stood (note ‘some’… lockdown was terrible in so many ways am sure we can all agree on that). Now, with social distancing and tiered restrictions, does anybody really know what they should or shouldn’t be doing? And, when people do interact with others, it’s people they love and care for, not complete strangers (for obvious reasons).

And yet…

I’m still not used to it and I still kind of hate it. As an extrovert I’ve found the social elements of the pandemic quite difficult to come to terms with. I firmly believe that restrictions are important and we should all do our bit to curb the spread of the virus. However, usually, I thrive off meeting new people, seeing new places and being around people, generally – not even just my friends but strangers too. I tweeted back in like April that I missed strangers in coffee shops a worrying amount and I still feel that way. The other day I went and got a coffee by myself and sat outside with my book and it’s the most normal I’ve felt since March.

I have found ways to cope, like we all have. For example, I now send my friends an excessive number of voice notes (soz, love u) just because it feels a bit nicer than texting and I miss them (so much – the disadvantages of long distance friendships are REAL right now). And sure, I like my own company, and appreciate the time I’ve hard to work on myself (the glow up is real guys, you are not ready). I am more confident in who I am than I have literally ever been and frankly am pretty impressed by my strength and resilience to the last six months of my life. 

And it’s not the big parties or sweaty bars I miss (although get me back to the CLUB PLS). It’s really the small interactions, then ‘happen’ moments, the small parts of our day to day that just no longer exist that I desperately want back. One of my favourite things about being in the office was the morning chats I had with the guys who at the coffee place, the small ‘hi how are yous’ and ‘good mornings’ are literally now a thing of the past.

It genuinely feels like we’re mourning a whole way of life, because who knows really when we’ll go back to ‘normal’? Will we ever? What even is ‘normal’? (not to get too existential on you…). We’ve had to learn a whole new set of social norms in record time. 

Will we forever wear masks on public transport and in shops and never smile at strangers again? How long will it be virtually impossible to meet new people naturally (i.e. without a dating app)? Will our relationships with our colleagues change forever? Is the office a thing of the past? Will we order our pints on an app forever? (this one we can keep actually). 

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