When lockdown first started, the prospect of being stuck in my room for weeks doing my university work all alone without my friends who I grew to love so quickly, felt crushing. It took me a while to wrap my head around the strange way that 2020 was playing out. Sometimes, I still can’t. And yet, I adapted, just like we all did. I got on with it, just like we all did. Eventually one day, waking up, eating some breakfast and then going to sit at my desk for the day started to feel like the new normal (R100 to anyone who hasn’t used that phrase this year). We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We are so much more adaptable than we think.
Now, months later, I feel myself in quite the opposite predicament. For months, I’ve spent most hours of the day alone in my room doing work. I’ve stayed in contact with my friends, but online contact is not the same. Hearing their laugh over zoom isn’t the same as hearing their laugh next to you. But as I slowly try to make my life feel a little normal, making plans with friends who are here close to home, I feel myself pulling back a bit. It feels like there’s a nail in my mind that a thread keeps snagging on. Some of it is the anxiousness of the virus. But, my brain also races with a thousand questions. What if things have changed? What if we’re different people? What if there’s nothing to say anymore? And then I see my people, and it feels comfortable. We laugh. We talk. And I realise with a great sigh of relief that yes, lots has changed. But some things haven’t.