I’m feeling inspired today. It could be because I am on my second glass of Prosecco or that I am about to start week four of lockdown and have finally found my balance in this brave new world.
I have been somewhat silent lately, I know. Odd perhaps because generally I am a pretty outspoken person. I have a loud voice and have stuff to say but sometimes I need to step back because the world is not all about me, is it.
Three days ago I started writing out my will. Sounds so mellow dramatic to me now but that night I was scared. I have had chest pains since day one of lock down and on this particular night the room was spinning. To write a will at fifty-four years old just seemed pointless to me. I have no kids and no money. No property. I mentally started to list what mattered to me. I would be dead after all and the idea that someone would have to divvy up my shit seemed so foreign to me. Two cats, some cash and jewelry and my paintings.
Let me first tell you something about being mellow dramatic. I’m not a drama queen. As much as I am an extrovert I am ten times more the introvert. I hate being the centre of attention but at the same time I like to be appreciated and acknowledged from time to time too. My close friends actually call me the hermit, which just makes me laugh at how accurate they are and how well they know the real me.
I like being inside my head. It is a space that has always felt safe to me.
So back to that will…which by the way I never finished writing. I had a head cold or perhaps allergies. But the idea that I could get this virus and have some anonymous paramedic whisk me off into the sunset was not exactly the dream date I was hoping for.
Social distancing in a country that kisses cheeks on a regular basis and spends 80% of their life outdoors socializing seemed impossible to me. I never fully realized how Italian I had become until I was faced with that awkward moment of meeting someone and not being able to kiss them hello.
Three weeks ago, this Canadian born gal was in denial. I was lunching at Ikea while laughing at how many times I needed to sanitize my hands after touching the salt and pepper on the table.
Fast forward to now and I have been out of work for a month and forced to quickly learn new online skills to earn a living. And yet I am still embarrassed to ask for a break on my rent because my landlady is awesome and I still feel so grateful to be here.
The reality has been slow to sink in. My good friend warned me over a month ago about what was happening in China. This is a respected friend and yet I dismissed her entirely. Shame on me!
Now, ironically I suppose, I see myself in her shoes. A week ago I was frantically writing emails to family and friends in Canada warning them of what was to come. There was a sense of panic in my pleas and I know that my sense of urgency was still falling on somewhat deaf ears.
People watched from a distance on TV and my world just seemed too surreal to them. Well guess what, it is also surreal to me too. I cannot believe this has happened and is happening still. I cannot leave my home without a document stating my business. I am high risk because I am asthmatic and unlike all those other people, I have no mask to protect myself. I never thought I would need one.
I am home alone. If I get a fever or a cough no one is going to reassure me that they are waiting for me to return home safe and sound. Much like the people who died alone, with no one to comfort them on their last breath on this earth. This virus is pure evil. It robs us of our humanity. Our connections at a soul level. It forces us to examine our world and our impact on the global community.
Everyday I watch in horror. I want to scream. How long will it take for the rest of the world to wake up I wonder? When will we realize that it is not just about us? Every ripple in the sea, every choice we make has a cause and effect. We are all connected whether we like it or not. My personal decisions today could literally affect hundreds, maybe even thousands of people tomorrow.
We are not autonomous after all. And believe me, as a self proclaimed hermit, I like to live as autonomously as possible. I don’t want my selfish choices to be someone else’s burden, but they are. Every time I engage, everything I buy or eat will have an impact on the planet and the people on this earth.
That my friends is our reality. As much as I hate the whole Big Brother mentality, now is not the time to rebel against the machine. Now is the time to live and learn and protect each other. Even if it makes no sense to you today, it will tomorrow. Trust me.
I wake in the morning, I am happy the road is quiet. But the news screams at me and the incoming calls were making me frantic for two weeks. I would read a news story and cry. Now, I am approaching week four and the rest of the world is slowly waking up to what has become a new norm for me. This is my new reality.
Realistically, I am now waiting to see if this pandemic will reach my inner circle. Will I be spared the pain of losing a friend or family member or is it just a waiting game that I have no control over? Will the clock suddenly stop and reverse? Will it be me?
I have no answers. Like a sitting duck, I wait.
My paintings fill a room. My ramblings fill empty pages like fallen leaves in Autumn. Maybe this is all I ever had to offer to my existence? Am I truly okay with that? I’m not entirely sure.
My ego will not rest on that note…
But my soul says sure. What will be, will be.
The universe is bigger than you and me after all.
If you know me at all, you know I am a carpe diem kinda gal.
But this is not about me, it is very much about us. Collectively.
If you care at all about humanity then do the right thing.
I don’t need to tell you what that is, you already know.