While much of Melbourne seems to be returning 'back to normal' post-lockdown, somehow, for the many who have been controlling and tapering their emotions for the last 3-4 months, this post lockdown period is proving equally hard, even with the softening of restrictions.
Why? I'm not sure.
Is it the digesting or the anti-climax of the pandemic and its restrictions? Or the weird disbelief that we did something impossible in Melbourne and are scared to ruin it? Certainly every second person I speak to has had some kind of traumatic fallout - with an almost PTSD like feeling. Still dealing with the horror that was winter.
People seem to want to get together but also are slightly scared and reluctant to... worried that somehow the virus is still largely out there incognito.
In addition, the 'new normal' still ISN'T normal for me. Or many others. Social distancing is fine but somehow I am finding the facemasks more restrictive than ever.
But - on the flip side, I think we have good reason to be feeling like this.
We have actually lived through a PANDEMIC now (which I find quite surreal to consider) almost like something out of a book, but pandemics are nothing like the ones from 1918 or so - and yet still - it has definitely had all the tragedy that has happened for millenia. Just ask anyone who has had to attend a funeral via Zoom.
Even on a personal level, it has been quite a traumatic time. I lost my (once) quite dependable job, have been pushing for a new job in a (ridiculously) competitive job market, struggled with relationships and debts, and now finally, am finding some new opportunities emerge in MID November. But here we are, having everything come at us all at once and we move on - trying to remember or assess what it was that I learnt.
And while it feels too early to really be sure what this pandemic and lockdown has taught me, it has given me new insights towards respecting the environment and recycling & not spending frivolously. I don't need more stuff, I need good stuff that I look after.
Has it driven me crazy, created more upheaval and turned my life upside down? Yes. But has it ALSO made me stronger, more determined and maybe leading to a better tomorrow? Yes, maybe.
While, I can't always promise I know what will happen, I do know (or suspect) I am getting better at something. Even if that thing is juggling life - l'll take it.
Life has already enough uncertainty without not taking the gains when you see them.
I suppose I can feel the fog lifting me out of 2020 but it's still hard to see.
2021 is going to be a hell of a year - It's going to be my year of rebuilding better.