For better or for worse, I was never the type to stay in one place.
I have this tendency to keep myself afloat by perpetually drifting through the different scenarios I tend to get into. The freedom I get from approaching life this way has always inspired me to find spontaneity in any situation. However, considering that it has been more than a year since the lockdown, I find myself struggling these days, given how I used to operate before all this began.
Unlike a lot of people, I absolutely hate feeling stuck in a routine. I feel trapped whenever I sense that everything seems to be in a cycle of repeating patterns. It goes against my nature, as I crave new sensations from the unknown. From accidentally riding a jeepney that travels a different route, to seeing unexpected faces in the most random of places—the unpredictability of the world is truly something to behold.
But that was before the pandemic. Nowadays, every single day seems to mesh as a singularity. I do the exact same thing every morning — my eyes transfixed on my laptop during work hours, and a moment of respite right after. The lack of variation has made my daily activities uncomfortably dull. The best way to describe every sunrise and every sunset is that it’s just an extension of March from last year.
One of the worst things about how my mind operates is that once I dwell on something for too long, my brain tends to provide me with flashes of the most mundane events from the past. These unnecessary recalls tend to pop up at the most inopportune moments, and they only provide me with a sense of gloom, considering how bright the world seemed back then as opposed to now.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that all of us have lost something special ever since this crisis began. Whether it was losing a business, a loved one, or even a part of yourself—all of us feel like someone has ripped us open and forcibly took away something. That is perhaps the reason my brain’s defense mechanism is to recall better times, to at least phase my mind off the despair of the present.
Call it cynicism, but I am not even certain at this point how a world after the pandemic would look like. It feels like a lot has already happened, but at the same time, we remain in the same place we were before. It is a contradiction at this point since the stimuli we are experiencing in our daily lives appear to be stuck in a loop, but you can also observe that so much has changed from when all this upheaval began.
When we come out of this pandemic, whenever that may be, none of us will ever be the same. Many of us have lost a part of ourselves in the process, with some losing more than others. My sense of idealism has waned over this past year. I could liken my situation to a sail with numerous rips on it. Sure, portions of it could still capture the wind that should propel the ship forward, but it is no longer as effective as it once was.
I wish I could end this on a high note, but that would be duplicitous, considering the circumstances. It is inevitable that we will collectively move forward from where we are right now. But for some of us, whatever our reasons may be, it will take much longer to repair the sails that carry the winds of our respective ships.