As Viman sealed its doors, students celebrated their exams getting cancelled and good riddance from hostel food. Little did anyone know, the situation was going to worsen. From being grounded at home and surviving with limited resources to being forced to take as much time as Bunty does to wash our hands.
Quarantine has now become like the vacation after Board Exams, your parents tell you this is the most important time to think about the future, prepare for it and you pretend to research on your phone and your laptop.
In college, we used to work, study and socialize most of the day. Amidst all this, a few hours of our favourite TV show and a bowl of Maggi was all we yearned for. Quarantine was my time to do exactly this, only full time. I treated the first 20 odd days of Quarantine stringently as ‘me time.’ I cleaned my house, watered the plants, cooked with my family, indulged in painting sessions and movie marathons with my brother. I thought, after 21 days of lock down, when I will have to head back to Pune and get back to the hustle, I will be rejuvenated.
On 17th April the PM of India, declared extension of the lockdown. All this time, I had worked hard on rejuvenating myself for the hustle that was anticipated later. With more free time at hand, I was left with no clue as to how I was supposed to occupy my time further. Moreover, I had gotten so comfortable in my daily ‘routine’ of relaxing, that now I didn’t want to hustle.
Still, I started. A time table was made, lists were prepared, stationary supplies were bought to get me working again. But it’s not that easy, is it? I would laze around for hours, the work I could complete in 30 minutes just 21 days ago now took 3 days. It is strange how in spite of being a media student; I was saturated and done with Social Media. Calling out stories and appreciation posts, opposites of the same spectrum and both became too much to handle. Quarantine in times of Social Media was not as fun as it seemed. I would look at other people creating amazing work, creating ads, writing poems, making illustrations, on a daily basis and here I was struggling to create just a 2 page resume.
Through all this a friend of mine just casually said something that stuck with me. He said that everyone has their own pace of learning and working. It was as easy as that. When I achieved my target, I would applaud myself. And when I did not, I would just tell myself to work at my own pace to reach my goal.
I am just trying to find my pace. Some days I have zero will to work, rather than feeling bad for myself, I label these days as self care days and relax, have fun with my family. The days I am full of energy and ready to do some work, I get up early, sit on my study table, set an achievable target for the day and get going. It could be updating my Linked In, making creative that I would discard after a day, or just reading about ads. But again, I try to not take too much on my plate.
Everyone has their own creative process that works for them. You just need to start, every day from scratch, over and over again. I still take 3 hours for a work that took me 30 minutes earlier, but that still counts as progress. Even if you are not able to work, just do what makes you happy and spend time with your family. This time will not come back, true. This is the time we all have for ourselves and our happiness in these times of distress.