Crisis & Creativity: Reflecting on 2020

Regardless of the perceived irksome qualities which people seem happy to point out about my generation, for us too, it has been a biting, charged, and overwhelmingly challenging honour to have made it to the end of the year 2020.

The stinging turn of the decade has the Covid-19 global pandemic as its nexus – sweeping across an unprecedented number of communities, without prejudice or regard for the devastating tide of 2020s other crisis.

You’d think that after centuries of human development, that we would overcome a health crisis with the ease of modernity and a dollop of hope, but alas, we’ve learned that with rapid development and globalization, anatomy has regressed in its strength in many ways – our immune systems now manifest as the perfect example of human evolution, but also of the decadent privilege that weakens us. We are sometimes not even able to battle the common cold, let alone the viciousness of diseases like Ebola, and the menace of this current Corona strain, ravaging people and economies in equal measure.

This year brought brutal realities about human fragility, to the fore.

I nearly lost myself to dark moments in solitude.

I’ve never had to quite fight for my life, and have never had to work to make my next breath mean something poignantly – of that privilege (and the spoils of hard-earned freedoms from generations past) I am not blind.

In my seclusion, when my country was mandated into a national lockdown as part of its pandemic preventative measures, I was startled by the sudden cultural shift, which barred even the most basic relations, and jarred industry abound.

It was the quiet and near-apocalyptic cleanse of people and activity in the streets of my neighbourhood, which left me waking up every day to check that life still existed in the world on Twitter…otherwise I’d regularly contemplate that I was the last one standing during a purge, apocalypse, or the rapture.

Exhaustion – It slipped under our skin, and designed what seems an inescapable vice around our already weary bones. To exist seemed such a chore these months past, and whispers of travel (my bliss) had been a pipe dream for so long between presidential addresses and blue Mondays, that my hopes were dusty fumes by April…July…October…

While slumping in the slightest ways (REM cycle shot to hell, no inclination to human, and appetite hearty but taste buds hibernating), hurtling towards a depressive state if my daily lockdown habits persisted unencumbered, I made a drastic change.

My building had only about 4 people living in it across 7 floors, and there had been a number of vacant spaces to occupy when the rumblings of Covid-19 became a cacophony. And so, after assessing my meagre means, I decided “f*ck it!” and moved into a loft on the same floor as my previous en-suite’ish abode.

What I realized within hours of moving into the loft, was that my already lightening spirits, had something to do with the sun streaming into the tiny all-white loft – a feature not present in my previous dark cavern.

And with the light, came inspiration

Suddenly I became obsessed with chronicling my lockdown moments. I was a blogger without her outside thrills, but I was also a Content Curator with a challenge to take on, and boy did I strive and thrive!

From re-styling items from my wardrobe (both old and relatively new), to appreciating High Tea afternoons during my weekends, I had a rather lovely time maintaining my sanity with creating beautiful moments for myself, and then sharing them with the world. I am lucky to still be earning income, in an industry I find endlessly fascinating – and so on the days I continue to feel down, I remember these blessings.

I don’t think our comeuppance by nature, is over – its fatalistic, but I believe it to be true. And as I stare down the last few hours of 2020, I draw a breathe and fortify myself that while 2021 will likely be worse, I no longer rest on my laurels, and remain content in my gluttony and creature comforts. I’m a law-abiding citizen, a paranoid conspiracy theorist, and a survivor with intense self-preservation instincts.

Come what may – I’ll muddle through!

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