I took a break from writing for a while because I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I came back to it because over the last three years, I have started writing again on a completely different platform. I realize that writing professionally, has been incredibly liberating in one sense, and lately, I’ve been feeling the need to dive into areas that are elusive. Avoidance. Yes, it is easier to write about other people and treacherously hard to self-reflect. The irony is that I was always intensely self-reflective but motherhood, menopause and environment, hijacked what once came so naturally to me.
What has emerged for me in the second year of the pandemic, is something that most people are feeling. We’ve been forced to confront either willingly or hesitantly certain truths about our respective lives. It’s hard to avoid and evade self-reflection when we are confined to our homes for long periods of time. Even for a person who was quite comfortable reveling in self-discovery, the journey during Covid became tenuous. Suddenly we were all home-schooling. We were faced with endless hours of having to entertain our children and keep them motivated. We became their friends, their playmates, their teachers, their tutors, their gatekeepers. We watched too much Netflix or Hulu, we couldn’t sleep properly, we ate too much or drank too much. There was a certain comfort in nesting together but we were also facing other dire realities. Those of seeing our loved ones get really sick. Some of us lost family members and friends and we couldn’t grieve or say goodbye.
And what about life before Covid? The struggles we were facing pre-Covid, were still prevalent. We were still in menopause or dealing with addiction. Our awkward and introverted kids were still dealing with the same issues. We now had an added layer of complexity to address while being confined to our homes. During this period, we had to force ourselves to let things go, to accept day-to-day living and embrace the present. Essentially, we were all learning how to be mindful. We had no control over a virus that ravaged the world and we had to have faith in a system that assured us it had our best interests at heart. That’s how I see 2020.
As the scales have tipped in favor of moving forward (I say forward because there is no going back) in the midst of a third wave (losing count) and somehow navigating through all the institutions we have established to define how we should and can move in the world, many things have still remained the same. How many parents out there still feel extremely isolated? How many menopausal women in the world feel like they are going crazy on a daily basis and feel utterly alone while facing this major life transition? How many of you have teenagers who feel socially ostracized because they aren’t popular or dress a certain way? How many of you crave for that proverbial village to help you through some of these ups and downs. How many of you are tired of being told to “be positive” or “look on bright side”? I’m choosing this platform to adopt some radical honesty. I’m hoping to meet some like-minded people on the way.