Last week, I tested positive for COVID-19.
Although at first I didn’t feel sick and only showed minimal symptoms, we all know what it means: immediate, forced isolation from the outside world. But what that really means for an extreme extrovert like me, thriving on human interactions: nothing less but a state of mind close to The Great Depression.
I really am what they say a busy bee: always on the run, seeing work everywhere I go, wanting to get it all done efficiently as soon as possible. Always brooding on a little plan, I tend to easily lose myself in many, messy, tangled thoughts.
Honestly, I thought some downtime would benefit my peace of mind. But quite the opposite turned out to be true. I’ve never been this bored all my life, which made the usual flood of thoughts in my head only increase. Let’s put it this way: not only the virus can be held responsible for the severe headaches. Fortunately, the torture was short-lived. Whereas my sense of taste and smell were slowly getting better, my quaran-time came to an end… to eventually wind up in a total lockdown-bound society again.
A lot of free time always tends to make me question ‘the bigger picture’ of my purpose in life. Are the life choices I have made for myself so far, the ones I still fully support? Will I be able to fulfill my goals before the end of this year? Shouldn’t I be making use of the extra free time to be more productive, teach myself another hobby, or become a real pro in what I’m already doing?
In other words, too much time literally does something to my brain. One of those is making lists. Here are the lists that helped me get through the past week without fighting my own thinking too much. Structure is a clean virtue, people.
- What I’ve been doing in quarantine
❤ Took naps with my cats.
❤ Tried to study some dermatology.
❤ Went for many, long walks.
… around the house, ofcourse.
❤ Finished that bottle of Château Margaux I was going to save up to drink with the family.
❤ Got really productive by day 5!!!
❤ This period paved the road for my first encounter with tele-consultations.
❤ Pre-ordered my 2021 agenda at CGD London: what’s cool is that you can build it yourself with their agenda inserts. Everybody has different goals and wants to achieve them differently, so basically that’s what convinced me.
❤ Howled of laughter with every single one of Covidetonsac’s 43 COVID-quote posts.
❤ Drank some more wine.
❤ And sometimes tea, too.
❤ Rediscovered the morning routine I had set myself during lockdown nr. 1 earlier this year. Statistics are I’ll lose it again in the upcoming 4 days. We are talking about 5 minutes of mindfulness and subsequent 5 minutes of lower abs exercises (haha, that’s cute ain’t it).
❤ Of course some Netflix couldn’t be missing. I was totally mesmerized by The Queen’s Gambit, that you’ve certainly heard of by now. To keep up with my German, I watched Was Wir Wollten; a beautiful film documenting the struggle that comes with infertility. Another series I can recommend is Skin Decision: Before & After, in which a badass female plastic surgeon and aesthetic nurse help people with severe skin problems to regain their confidence.
❤ Somewhere in between naps, mental breakdowns and patients on the phone I found this hilarious blogpost about self-isolation by some girl named Becca. Desperate times call for absurd and crazy ideas, cheers to that Becs!
❤ I read Arlo, a graphic novel written by an old classmate from high school. We don’t really talk yet share the same trauma; although ‘far-reaching life event’ is a term I prefer to use. This quarantine, she learned us that extraordinary things can grow out of what were once terrible feelings, like loss and sorrow.
2. It’s a beautiful cliché, and therefore it works. Things i’m grateful for:
❤ The fact that I was able to quarantine in a heated, spacious, cosy cottage at the country side.
❤ The fact that, i.e. in non-2020 terms, I actually stayed healthy.
❤ That this year, despite the shitshow it has been, I still managed to realize some of my goals.
❤ The chance I got on self-development, self-education by reading books and rediscovering talents during my time off.
❤ But most of all, I am grateful for my ability to remain exceedingly positive, and to see the humour of everything no matter what life throws at me.
3. What I look forward to after this lockdown:
❤ Dressing up for another venue than WORK and going wild with the girls again.
❤ Rediscovering Brussels, the city I got to work since the end of September. Getting to know places I never even knew existed whilst having coffee dates with friends. Also, doing what I love most: writing about the places I go to in this magnificent capital.
❤ Shooting new content, accepting fun new collaborations and being able to let my creativity run wild again without the limitation of four walls.
❤ Throwing massive costume houseparties again with a lot of laughter and crazy stories afterwards.
❤ Travelling the world, facing new encounters and sharing my routes up on this platform like I used to.
These are the thoughts I wanted to share this morning. Whilst amid the chaos of our minds we wait until all of this will be over, let’s keep the faith and appreciate what we do have for now and is underestimated by many (including me): quiet solitude. As for me, I’m looking forward to picking up work again next week. In the meantime: stay positive, test negative folks. I hope the pictures help you to somewhat drift away.
Sending you all lots of love and virus-free kisses,
❤ Pictures by Annelies Schrevens.