It’s March, again. March is one of my absolute favorite months, for multiple reasons: spring, aries-season, persian New Year, etc. Almost a year ago March got completely different associations. It was the beginning of a pandemic, as they call it. Starting in China a Virus, Covid-19, spread and the whole world started to panic. In Europe, Italy was one of the first countries to take action. Whole cities where shut-down, borders were closed. Soon after many countries followed that example, including Austria. On March 16th 2020 the first lockdown began. Honestly, the first lockdown for me was glorious. I could decompress, take time off and just relax without feeling guilty for not being productive. I lived alone in my apartment, family was miles away and I didn’t see any friends for months. I had time to cook and read and take walks for hours on end. I enjoyed the sunshine and adapted quickly to what I thought would be a very temporary situation. It seemed like the world was on pause and all we had to do was breathe. I still think it was very important for many people to learn to slow down and be by themselves without all the outside noise.
Then summer came. I finished the yoga classes that were supposed to be done by Easter and went on summer break – as I usually do. In fall my courses started again and there came lockdown number two. Sometime before Christmas stores opened up and then had to close again, welcome to the third round of “please hold the line”. It’s March again now and my classes which were meant to be done way before the New Year are still outstanding. It feels like the world is on pause, but time doesn’t just stand still – no matter how many lockdowns.
So now here we are, waiting week after week, dangling between press conferences, while they tell us what we can and cannot do. Right now everything is predefined for us: Where we can go and under which circumstances, if we can work and how, who we can see and when, what we can say and why. It feels like I don’t have control, but am controlled.
What am I? I mean, that’s a very grand question, but broken down I am a lot of things. First and foremost, I am a free spirit. Did I ever explain why I am self-employed and run my own business? It’s because I’m very independent and don’t like it when other people tell me what to do. That goes for my professional and personal life. I live in my own apartment, because I like to do things my way. Hell, I even converted a van so I can go places without having to worry about check-in and check-out times. I like to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Sadly, at the moment it feels like I’m re-living the same day over and over and over again. You know those movies where they are stuck in a loop? That’s the feeling.
I long to switch it up. I want to travel and meet new people. See familiar faces and new places. I crave to properly teach yoga. Feel people’s energy, not through a screen or under a mask, but just what we are: people and energy. I want to get into my car and feel free, not restricted. I want to be myself in the ways that I know how and have the opportunity to explore all the parts that are also meant to be me.
The million dollar question remains: Will we ever go back to normal? Experiences influence people and this situation for sure was/is an experience.
After an intense time like that, is there even such a thing as “going back”? Can we just act like nothing ever happened and be who we were a year ago? Or maybe – just maybe – is it time to create a new “normal”? This could be the time for new beginnings.
I know it’s hard to realize and even harder to accept that some things are just out of our control and won’t ever be the way they were before, but this could be our silver lining. The chance to choose a completely different path and give this challenging time a positive outcome.
Frankly, I have no clue what my path will look like, but I’m eager to find out.
Ps.: Of course I know, I am very privileged. I can’t imagine what it must have and still be like with small children in a tiny apartment somewhere in a city. Or as an elderly person, scared and alone in a retirement home. I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, a social support system and nature right in front of my door. It is a blessing to even think about personal development and fulfilment.