Expat Chronicles pt. 3

Life goes on.

To be honest, I haven’t really had anything to write about in a while. Although we are (hopefully) seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we are still in lockdown. I miss being able to go places and I wish I could have traveled a lot more this first year than I have been able to but sometimes there are pandemics so there is that. Stay safe everyone, keep your family and neighbours safe, wear a mask.

I have gone on loads of walks this month. Just exploring what is around me. I am obsessed with finding plots of land with old churches or buildings in the middle of random neighbourhoods or across the street from Tesco. It intrigues me to see something so old and with so much history just chilling there while normal, modern, busy society has just built it’s way around it. I find these places refreshing even though there is seemingly nothing refreshing about a 200 year old church or stuffy manor-turned-museum. These spots are usually quiet compared to the busy streets beside them. I found a gorgeous, blooming magnolia tree next to an old abbey yesterday and spent most of the afternoon on the bench underneath reading and taking in the sun (it is supposed to snow this weekend, I was soaking it in while I could). I couldn’t help but think “this absolutely cannot be real life.” You see these moments in movies. 

One of the last class exercises for this past term was to write a short response to the prompt “I’m curious.” It made me reflect on this past year. It has been a devastating and exhausting year for the world. So many lives have been effected. Many things have happened in my own personal life and family and friend’s lives as well. It has been a mentally draining year and yet for a good majority of my days I was left with so many quiet and mindful moments. The first lockdown started while I was at home and, like many, the busy rhythm of my life came to a halt. I was uncomfortable with the silence I found myself sitting in. I filled my time and mind with music. When Taylor Swift came out with her ‘folklore’ album, one part of her attached personal essay reads, “In isolation, my imagination has run wild.” I related to that feeling well. My curiosity cracked open and was let loose in lockdown. I was curious about everything from art, mental health awareness, social injustice history and activism, communication science, mindfulness and meditation, writing, thrifting, hiking, celebrity gossip, etc. The list goes on and on. Literally everything. I was curious about everything. Part of that could do with ADHD but also… lockdown. 

Much like the places I find on my walks, quiet pockets of reflective stillness are so important to find. The world- to all appearances- came to a halt last year but life goes on around us still. Pausing long enough to breathe and renew has become a necessity in my life and I think it is kind of cool that the environment around me matches the vibes I’m going for.

As always, miss you all. Xx

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