Seven months living in global pandemic. More like living in a fish bowl, actually. See things and hear things from the perspective of a glass bowl. Unable to go anywhere (well, in my case, I choose not to). Haven’t been outside the 5-kilometer perimeter from home. Haven’t been to the office. My spirit changes from yes-we-can-do-this to glad-we-have-time-to-relax-at-home-a-bit to shit-when-will-this-be-over and finally the question of are-we-there-yet on repeat.
As someone who constantly feels like I need a meaningful outcome in my day-to-day life, the pandemic has robbed me that. Yes, I still have a job and yes, I still have to supervise my kids’ studying from home, but I can’t help questioning ‘what’s the use?‘
In the first months of quarantine, I tried to be more organised with the long days and weeks in an attempt to get the feeling of ‘I’m still productive’. I finished my fifth novel, well, the draft. Imagine, it took a pandemic for me to return to writing…
After that satisfying draft was finished, I didn’t know what else to do, so I read more books. I read all the classics. Jane Austen’s? Done them, including the movie I watched over and over and over again. I moved on to Leo Tolstoy’s 900-something page Anna Karenina. Watched the movie too. On repeat, for weeks. I then switched from only reading (or watching) to reviewing the books in my Instagram. Did that for weeks. For some reasons, I felt like I needed to add the pressure of being productive by reviewing books and plants 🙄 .
Did that for weeks too.
Next phase after books and plants, I started to religiously exercise. This is huge for me! I have never been an exercise enthusiast. Yes, I did yoga regularly but that was because I already paid for the class. This time, I had a weekly schedule when to do yoga, when to jog, and when to do static bike. Fortunately, I didn’t go as far as practicing painful diet.
And by the fifth month, I felt so low I didn’t even want to religiously read any books nor work in my plants, anymore. I was done with being positive. I was done with trying to find meanings under the sun.
So, I turned to the easiest path: becoming a permanent couch potato. I turned to Netflix. Now, you might think binge-watching Netflix is normal, it wasn’t for me. I was not really into movies, unless I really wanted to watch them (see the case of Pride and Prejudice or Anna Karenina). I even avoid certain movies, those that are depressing, dark, sad, mind-inhibiting, soul-wrenching, no matter how brilliant those movies are. In Netflix, I found Lucifer and of course the Crown. From Netflix, I braved myself and subscribed to Amazon Prime (despite warnings from several friends). There, I found my old-time fling, Downton Abbey. The movies list continues. From Sherlock (Benedict, by the way), to Gilmore Girls, to Outlaw King, to Fleabag, to the Good Wife, to A Discovery of Witches…slowly, my social media accounts are filled with my random posts about my celebrity crushes. THIS has never happened before!
If before, during my on-repeat watching of P&P 2005 and Anna Karenina, I have had crush with Matthew Macfadyen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (especially with MM’s amazing-capital-letters voice), after Sherlock, I started to listen to Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott reading sonnets, poems and letters for weeks (yes, I easily fall in for great -ehem- voices). Now thanks to the Crown and Downton Abbey, I have added Matthew Goode to my celebrity crushes list 😀 . And boy, I don’t think I will get over him soon now that I have downloaded almost all of his movies. I am this close to seriously consider writing reviews of his movies -never happened before! I even braved myself to watch his brilliant roles in traumatic and depressing movies (Burning Man, Single Man, and Brideshead Revisited).
Let me tell you the most insane thing about my journey of having a crush with Matthew Goode 😛 . It has led me to virtually connect with other Goode’s fans. All that needed was for me to unconsciously tweet one post about the man-with-beautiful-smirk-and-delicious-voice and out of nowhere they reached out to me. It has been fun! Really! I have been a fan of Keanu Reeves since my teenage years but never have I been contacted by other fans hahahaha… With Keanu, it is a solitude crush. To add the cream on top of my current obsession with Matthew Goode, his movie ‘A Discovery of A Witch’ offers at least 3 things I’m passionate about: Goode’s melodious voice, beautiful old buildings, and amazing soundtracks.
September will be over in 5 days and I will celebrate the 8th month-life inside pandemic-fish-bowl world. Nobody knows when this dark age is over and what tomorrow may bring. I have given up trying to be meaningful or to make my day meaningful or to even show what I do is meaningful. My social media accounts are the hard proofs. This is now a matter of survival, of coming out of this life alive and hopefully in one piece. So, if celebrity crushes can save my sanity, I’m all for more months lazying on the couch (or carpet, or bed, wherever more comfortable) and I will post about my celebrity crushes unashamedly.
As it turns out, my survival strategy is not mine alone. Check out this story about quarantine crush that makes me giggle. I like the term: quarantine crush.
What is your survival strategy? Do you have quarantine crush?
PS: I don’t own the pictures.