“I am a traveler in quarantine —”
a gallivanter stuck at home due to the pandemic but I still managed to embark on a journey and that’s what these chapters will tell you about.
Three Weeks of a Traveler in Quarantine: The Slack City
The first few weeks of quarantine was full of resentment, internal struggles and pointing fingers coupled with series of anxiety attacks and breakdowns at night.
Those days of being stuck at home were among the most unhealthy days of my life – physically and mentally. My body clock was totally messed up as I ended up being a couch potato binge watching Netflix series – one after the other. At times, I would find myself mindlessly scrolling on social media news feed and dashboard for hours; most of the time stressed with the news. I did not even care at all about the food on my plate. Internet and junk food are hella dangerous yet quite a perfect combination.
On some days, I would find myself looking at my travel photos and could not help but feel sad about the canceled trips. I had no choice but to patiently wait for the community quarantine to be lifted so I could finally enjoy basking in the sun again.
I had frequent mood swings, overthinking and a surge of fleeting emotions washing over me during those days. The sleepless nights and idleness were to blame, maybe; not to mention my bad decision-making in many aspects at that time which was greatly influenced by the situation.
Then, I realized how I have been slacking off for weeks. I got out of the bed, decided to roll that mat out and started sweating in my long-kept gym clothes.
Six Weeks of a Traveler in Quarantine: The Awakening
The succeeding weeks was more of an adjustment period. There were less anxiety attacks as I popped out of my privilege bubble. I was quite self-absorbed on the first few weeks, I reckoned. After realizing all those things, I stepped in the love and light; revived a spark of hope and positivity in me. I even encouraged people to show love for themselves and others around them in the time of Corona.
This was the period of trying, at least for me. It was when I convinced myself with, “If I can’t go outside, then I’d better go inside.” These were the days when I decided to embark on a journey to my inner self. I started pulling the work out clothes from the closet and books from the shelf. I did a lot of yoga, meditation, cooking, reading of self-help books and even journal writing (thanks to Xena for giving me that pretty mermaid notebook ages ago). There were more silent periods that allowed me to reflect on what I spoke, actions and intentions. This period is the self-healing and restoration phase that my mind and body have been waiting for after slacking off for days.
Consequently, I found it problematic at times because I felt the need to be constantly productive.
Nine Weeks in Quarantine: The Stoic
As time goes, my perspective became broader which brought me into a whole new level of my being – of becoming somehow stoic. This traveler in quarantine is learning a lot.
It took me quite some time before I have come to this point. On my ninth week in quarantine, I became more accepting and more aware of myself and my environment.
The warm rays of the sun in a quiet morning and the chirping of the birds at the neighborhood have become my alarm. I didn’t pay attention to these details this much before. If I do, I’d definitely be despondent at the same time wishing I was enjoying these moments outdoors. But then, my newfound acceptance let me see things in a different perspective. This has been among the reasons why my morning meditations on gratefulness and acceptance become more meaningful and special. These became a simple reminder of a new day, new life.
The opinions of people posted online that usually get into my nerves because our ideologies clash seemed to take no effect in me that much anymore. I used to despise and hate how some people resort to ad hominem and speak non-sense. Now, I could easily brush it off after few deep exhalations and some mantras.
These days, I have accepted that it’s definitely okay to slack off sometimes; that I can’t be productive as always. I have learned to distance myself from what heightens my emotion especially rage and disappointment. Then, once calmed, I’d get back and deal with it in peace instead of running away.
Although there’s silence and distancing, I have never let myself be detached from the reality outside the corners of my abode. My eyes are wide open and I know where I stand with what’s happening in the society.
I Traveled During Quarantine
I may have not traveled according to plans but I still consider these chapters in quarantine a journey. It is but a journey of riding on the waves of my emotions and diving deep into my inner self.
You. How are you doing? How are you keeping yourself together in this time of trying?