It’s been 29 days since I packed up my room at university and came home. I went from extreme busyness to a dead halt. The world has shut down. I wear a variation of the same outfit every day now. Sweatpants and a teeshirt. I walk around with bare feet because I feel most comfy like that. Sometimes, the house is cool and the tiles make my feet cold. Maybe I should put on socks. It’s been 26 days since I wore an actual pair of shoes. I wear my comfiest, faded cotton pyjamas. I shower twice a day sometimes, because it gives me something to do. The water is so hot that I can see the steam rise off my skin. I like the smell of the green Dettol soap bar in the shower. It reminds me of my gran’s house.

Every night, my family watches the 8pm news. I try not to because I usually feel one of two ways. Either it makes me deeply sad and leaves me feeling defeated. Or I feel absolutely nothing. Which then leads to me feeling guilty, because the world is in a state of chaotic disaster.

I watch lots and lots of movies, and then sometimes I write about them in a notebook. I call them films because it sounds cooler. I love watching period pieces the most. They feel so pure, and the details fascinate me.

Every morning I make iced coffee and then spend too much time on the Worldometers site, looking at the latest virus statistics. I toggle between all the graphs and think about what my high school maths teacher would say about the gradient of the curves when we learnt calculus. I think about high school sometimes. Does that mean I miss it? I don’t know.

I spend ages on Pinterest sorting pretty photos into neat categories. Some days I sort out my boards to make sure all the pins are in the right place. Sometimes I get bored of Pinterest. I get bored of things quickly nowadays.

I tell myself I need structure, and then every time I try to create some sort of routine to follow, every fibre of my being resists it. I end up sleeping in for 2 hours and only getting started on my to-do list at 3pm. I wanted to try do some yoga during lockdown too. It’s been 21 days. I haven’t started.

I try not to get too upset about people’s opinions about lockdown and the whole coronavirus situation online. It’s hard. Especially when people are adamant about making statements that come from a place of privilege, and feel very unfair.

Some days I try to re-organise my desk in hopes that it will give me the kick I need to study in a focused manner. It doesn’t work. Nothing does really. I’m trying to fix my concentration and sleep schedule before the term starts online next week. It’s not going well. I have 4 days to sort it out.

It’s been 29 days since I packed up my room at university and came home. I wonder when the world will be normal again. I wonder if the world will be normal again.


Peace in the chaos

I write this blog to share my thoughts with the world. But more than that, I write this blog for myself. So right now, while my mind feels in a bit of turmoil, I’m going to write.

What’s happening in the world right now feels unreal. It feels like the plot of a movie that I watch one afternoon and then have an unsettling dream about later that night that leaves me feeling out of sorts until the next morning. Except, it’s not a dream. Life has come to a screeching halt all around us. It’s been frightening for me to see the people whom I usually turn to for guidance and security be just as uncertain and scared as I am.  The uncertainty has left me reeling. Whilst I have not cried about it all yet (although I know its coming), I feel a sort of strange numbness. It feels as if I’m observing all this and not really living through it. Today was day one of 21 day lockdown. It feels unreal.

I’m somewhat of a control freak and I know that for many people, the uncertainty and lack of control that this situation has brought about, is torturous. The feeling of helplessness, knowing how many people are suffering and not being able to actively help in any way, breaks my heart. All my university friends live in different provinces. I wished I had hugged everyone a little tighter when we all went home 2 weeks ago after our university very suddenly shut down and canceled our exams.

The one thing this has taught me, is to stop putting things off. Life is uncertain. You never truly know what is coming your way. After this passes, I’ll stop putting things off for when “things get less busy” or “next week”. I’ll make the most to live fully in every moment. I’ve also come to realise just how truly insignificant some things are in the bigger picture. I’ve learnt to be grateful and appreciative for all the blessings in my life. Things that felt important two weeks ago feel ridiculous now. At times like this, everything really gets put into perspective, whether you are ready for it or not.

This week has had me do odd things like message people I haven’t spoken to in months and contact teachers from school because I miss them. When things feel uncertain and life feels scary, the people you truly care about occupy your mind and heart non-stop. It’s frightening and painful and lovely all at once.

I live in a city where the economic disparity is almost unbelievable. For some people, the lockdown means having to make a double shot cappuccino at home and work on their Macbook on the couch instead of going to the local coffee shop. For others, it means that they will not be able to put food on the table for their families this week because they can’t earn money right now. This makes me sad. We are in for some very difficult days ahead. I’m trying my best to take each day as it comes. We’re all doing whatever it takes to get through this. Deep breaths.

Nabeela x

The world takes a pause…

It feels a bit like everything has been flipped upside down. The coronavirus has taken the world by a storm, and it seems as if those who we usually look up to are equally as unsure and anxious as we are. Schools and universities are shutting down. People are being told to self-isolate, work from home, not leave the house unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s frightening and strange and unlike anything most people have ever experienced.

Something that’s been a big takeaway for me is just how insignificant some things actually are. Last week, a looming week of exams seemed like the biggest, most important thing in the world. And yet the university cancelled it just like that and sent us all home. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than the health and life preservation of people. It’s important to be reminded sometimes that our health really is the most valuable and precious thing.

This week has been odd. (How many times have I used that word now?). In the space of a few hours, I packed up my life at university and came back home for an extended recess. We have not received a date for when we can move back into university residence. I said goodbye to my friends  (we all live in different parts of the country) not knowing whether we’d see each other in a week or two, or a couple of months. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. It’s crazy how quickly you feel connected to other people you’ve only known for a short time. When you live with people, they become a second family.

It feels odd. A part of me is still reeling from the stress of the prep from an exam week that never happened. My body is in limbo. I keep eating unnecessary snacks and watching too many tiktoks. I’ve refreshed my twitter feed one too many times.  I read a book (that’s a good thing though).

What is happening is a scary thing. Many people are afraid, and unsure of what’s to come. But I’m doing my best to hold onto the positive. Even although her inhabitants are ill, Mother Earth is healing. People have slowed down. Fewer flight are happening. Nitrogen dioxide levels are the lowest they’ve been. The water in the canals in Venice is clear for the first time in years and years. The swans and fish are back.

If you are privileged enough to be self-isolating in the comfort of your own home, make the most of it. Give yourself some time to think. If you’re overwhelmed by the media, don’t consume too much of it. Let your body rest. Make your room cosy and read the book you’ve been wanting to get to. Do the work you need to do.

But also, spare a thought for those who don’t have cosy homes to self-isolate in. Those who can’t take time off work, the medical personnel working day and night to try and control this pandemic. Take a moment to reflect on what is actually important and valuable to you.

This is not an easy thing to deal with. Do the best you can (but please, STAY AT HOME if you’re able to). Sending love and peace.

Nabeela x

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