I wouldn’t say this is necessarily the Corona talking, rather that the Corona has amplified a feeling that I’ve been suppressing for some time now. The anxiousness of the lockdown has been a trigger for longstanding but previously ignored concerns which are now frenetically bubbling to the surface.
It’s week seven of lockdown (or is it eight? Don’t even bother even trying to ask me which day of the week it currently is) and my own thoughts are grinding me down into the dark depths of self-torment. The main offending thought is this:
When is my life actually going to begin?
When is my career going to take off? When am I going to meet my ride-or-die girl group? When am I going to fall in love? When is someone going to fall in love with me? When am I going to be independent? When am I going to have a killer body? When am I going to travel to all those destinations on my Pinterest board? When am I going to have a life-changing kiss? When am I going to give those awards acceptance speeches I practise in the shower? When am I going to be able to go shopping and not even need to glance at the price tag? When am I going to glow through my first pregnancy? When am I going to fly business class? When am I going to be insta famous? When am I going to invite associates to a three-course dinner which my fair hands crafted from scratch? When am I going to feel like a goddamn success?
Because if you’d have asked me ten years ago when I would be all those things, I’d have said right about now. I don’t know what’s more laughable – my teenage naivety, or the tragedy that I still hold out hope that some of this might materialise.
I’m twenty-six and nowhere near having my shit together. In fact, my shit is so far from being together that the separate component parts exist within their own respective post codes.
There’s always been a reason that my future’s remained in the tomorrow. First it was university – by the end of my first year I knew that embarking on a degree had been an ill-informed decision for me but decided that I needed to just keep my head down and get to the end. Then it was heartbreak. I told myself I’d get going on kickstarting my destiny once I was emotionally healed from a devastating betrayal. Then I was sure it would happen once I was a size 10, because what’s the point of achieving all these great things and meeting new and fantastic people if I wasn’t going to be happy with the I way I would look in the inevitable insta shots? But, still a size 14 with a stubborn two stone still to lose, it’s no longer something within my own control that’s stopping me from swimming out to my ship – it’s the Coronavirus lockdown with no known end date or likely let up.
I’m angry and I’m scared. I’m angry that this lockdown could steal key years of my twenties from me. Selfishly, I’m scared that if we don’t all respect the lockdown rules I could contract the virus and die without having achieved half of the things I’d set out to do.
If I die before the end of the year, there’s nothing to show for my life. No great achievements, just a long To Do List and a jam-packed vision board of wistful dreams that were never realised.
I have only myself to blame, because among the plethora of societal lessons Coronavirus has taught me, it’s that my self-imposed obstructions were simply postponements of possible failure. Postponements of the possible reality that my life would transpire to be distinctly average and not the great dream I’d moodboarded. But if I am afforded the luck of making it to a post-lockdown life, then trying and failing will be much more appealing than never having kickstarted my life at all. I don’t need a Pinterest board to tell me that.