By Brittany Tasesa

Lockdown Reflections

During the COVID-19 alert level 4 and 3 lockdown I have felt feelings of purposelessness and a lack of fulfilment

I learnt how to manage my emotions by myself, and also how, sometimes, unable I am to manage them by myself too

I came to realise who I can trust and how many people I had been holding at arms length that were essential to me

If they weren’t scrubs, they were sweatpants that clothed my body each day

I developed a routine, I tweaked it and then I started a new one and another one after that because the first and second weren’t working

I forgave myself for not being productive and doing only what I was capable of day to day sometimes hour to hour

I found a new discipline and relief in exercise because, for the first time in my life, the main motivator was a chance to breath the fresh air and raise my endorphins and not about trying to change my body shape; despite the mistruths I might have told myself previously (I even ran to the supermarket for groceries once with a back pack and everything – just call me Dora)

I learnt that I can never control another person or how they respond to life, but I can control myself and I have the choice in how I react

I enjoyed clear motorways (though those from Wellington would still consider the Auckland streets to be traffic laden) and the lack of pressure and expectation to be sociable was surprisingly calming

Some days I was proud of my progress and would be heartened by how well I was doing and other days I wondered what the point was in any of it anyway

I made it out of the house by myself one time and it wasn’t to go work; I wore a skirt, a bra that’s main purpose wasn’t for exercise or labelled as active wear, picked out matching earrings and even put effort into my hair, which even pre-lockdown would have been a mission. The best part was I did for myself too (see insert for one of my most confident and competent moments during lockdown) – there was no event, no meeting, no get-together, it was just me getting food and going to The Wharehouse (and convincing myself of all the unnecessary items that were essential)

Daily entries into the Calm app, sleep stories to settle my thoughts at bed time and a gratitude diary became my most treasured companions

And then the stressors of “normal” life slowly returned; the people came out of their households and with it, surprisingly, some of that purpose returned as though being amongst busy is a life task in itself

I came to understand the necessity of health outlets and that, maybe, the need to talk through problems when they are current rather than when they have been resolved; realising that perhaps I have not been allowing vulnerability in myself as much as I thought I had and as much as, I hope to think, I allow in others

I’m not ultimately sure where this is going, but I guess that’s okay, things aren’t always perfect, life isn’t always smiles, life isn’t simply productivity and output, there’s no carefully cultivated filter. Whatever happened for you, it happened, maybe it’s still happening, there’s been growth and learning and difficulties and in the midst of all of it, there’s probably been a flicker of something and sometimes, even if it’s only a small flicker of a hope that got you through or is still getting you through, then that can be enough for now

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