What better time to begin a blog than in the midst of a global pandemic?
I’ve been going back and forth over starting a blog for many years now. Part of what has held me back is a sense of imposter syndrome- I’m not a good enough writer, no one will read it, everyone has a blog so what’s the point? Of course, you only improve in your writing if you actually write. You will only find an audience if you put your work out there to read. And so on.
The other part- a major part- has to do with time. Usually, I work full-time as essentially an “assistant manager” for a bookstore chain. Before we temporarily closed due to COVID-19, my day was dominated by work. Not only the eight hours spent in store, but also the roughly 3 hours I spent commuting. I ate breakfast normally standing as I waited for the bus, if I ate breakfast at all. I generally ate lunch as a salad or half a sub, leaning over my keyboard in my office. My days off were spent catching up on all the errands I could squeeze in.
This pandemic and social distancing has dramatically altered that. I almost can’t process how much time there actually is in a day! Since I first started working at 16, my understanding of being productive, being successful- being an “adult”- meant not having enough time. Always being in a rush. This was only exacerbated by the fact I left university halfway through my program due to pretty severe mental health issues. The idea of appearing like a stereotypical “drop-out”, mooching off their parents (and what a shitty bias that is, to look down on that without acknowledging the various situations that factor into that) pushed me into working harder and harder. Even feeling like a failure when I couldn’t succeed in starting a “side-hustle” in my limited free time, since so many people promised it was the easiest thing!
I know a lot of people are having a very different reaction to all this time right now. It can be a daunting task to go from having very little free time to seeing a vast expanse of time laid out before you. And it’s a privilege to know that I qualify for government support and not have to panic over not having the funds; to not have to go out there and risk my wellbeing for a job right now.
Though I am physically limited, I feel as if in all other senses I am blossoming. It’s almost as if I am a plant who has been moved to a much larger pot. Here is a space where I can explore this “room” I now have and share whatever I’ve been consigning to my Notes app until now.
Truthfully, this feels a bit like throwing a note in a bottle into a very large, digital sea and hoping someone out there picks it up. If you read this, let me know you’re out there!