Life for me has changed dramatically over the course of the last 2 weeks, which it has for a lot of other people in the world. An adjustment, a slight glitch in our lives has occurred and turned everything upside down.
We're told not to pay too much attention to the media, avoid the negativity. Focus on the positives. But how can we do that when the only thing that connects us to the life outside is technology. Phone usage has risen as well as internet, more apps are being downloaded everyday in an attempt to stay in contact with the people we have separated from. I don't know about you guys, but my phone has never pinged so much. Friends, family and news updates flood my phone with messages. Group chats explode with multiple conversations taking place. People worried, people happy, people making the most of what they've got during this time.
Social distancing has built a wall between ourselves and loved ones. Now more than ever people are realising the true meaning of loneliness. The true meaning of boredom as well. We've been stripped of our freedom. But what can we do? Listen to the advice, listen to the facts. Stay inside, save lives. Pretty simple right?
I've never had a problem staying in. I've always been anxious about going out, afraid of the outside world. As an artist staying in isn't really problem. Not really anyway. My 'studio' and all arty things you could imagine are inside. The only inspiration I need is in my head. Except since it all started I've hit a wall. A mental wall in which I can't even put pencil to paper. Art Block.
It's nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to a lot of creatives. Writers, artists, dancers etc. But it can be frustrating. Especially when you have a project to complete for next month. Uni students in my class are expected to carry on as if nothing has happened. But how? How can we possible create with everything going on? I also have an essay due in this Friday and I can't even think. I've never really been good at academic writing, my tutor telling me that I'm a 'storyteller' and need to be more academic. I'm struggling, I really am and have 'seeked help' but without Uni being on my front door step or the fact that it has all been moved online its been hard. No more am I in a working studio space. Instead I am sat at home in my pjs, bed hair, braless, snacking on biscuits with tea, belting out 'Mardy Bum' by the Arctic Monkeys surrounded by two dogs, one that has tourettes and two fat guinea pigs that are looking more and more like dogs.
I'm fine. I am completely, utterly fine. And don't worry I'm not one of those girls that say, 'I'm fine' when they clearly aren't. I'm ok, except I have no motivation at all.
I've moved back in with Clare, my mum for those of you who are unaware. Clare is still working and my brother has left me to go to Vicar John's. (not a real vicar just lives in a vicarage) I haven't home home for a while and forgotten how comfy my bed is, how gorgeous the water tastes and how irritating it can be when you live with someone who doesn't know your routine. What I mean is, Clare has been treating me like a 12 year old. I'm 19, soon to be 20 in July. Yet she is treating me like a child. Take other night for example, she was trying to tell me how to boil veg. Its not like I haven't lived on my own for the past 6/7 months. Also, the bathroom. We have a window in our bathroom door, its at the top of the landing and every time I go to the bathroom I pull the blind down and lock the door. I walk out, after washing my hands, and go back to what I was doing. Clare goes in, pulls the blind back up and gives me a bollocking for pulling it down. She doesn't understand why I pull the blind down, nor why I lock the door.
"Perhaps I don't like people walking in when I'm sat on the shitter!"
"I've seen it all before!" She would shout back.
"Yeah. When I was in F**king nappies!" I would retort back.
Oh another scenario has popped into my head. Monday afternoon, I had been home for less than 24 hours when my phone pinged. I was like who's that? A friend request from Facebook, a guy I had never met. Now usually when I get friend requests I don't add unless I actually know the person and have spoken to them in person. Otherwise I won't respond. I won't name him, because I don't want to embarrass him. I put phone down and try to do my work when my phone begins to ring. It was Clare, I was like what now?
"Phoebe add ****** on Facebook." She urged down the phone.
"How do you know he sent me a request?" I was looking around the room for a hidden camera.
"He's a lad from work, really nice, I think" I knew what was coming, "You and him would get on really well."
"Mum for f**k sake, no, go away I don't need this."
"Wait, he's really."
Honestly, the woman is unbelievable. For the rest of the night she kept pestering me, asking me to ask him out. No Clare. I don't know if you've noticed but there is a bloody pandemic going off at the moment. The only way I can describe mine and mother's relationship when it comes down to my love life is like a scene from the Undateables.
You know what I mean? When the 'undateable' gets a phone call from the matchmaker telling them they have a match for them. Except unlike the undateable, I don't want to date. I've told Clare this, I've told her that I aim to be a spinster who lives in a van for the rest of my days. Obviously she thinks I'm joking. I am partly. Only partly.
Another thing I've learnt since being back at home is that I miss my friends. I miss my daily cuppa chats with Megan in the flat. The pub Thursday where we all go to the local for a pint and talk about the good and the bad of the week. Dancing to the radio with Beth and Kylie when a great song came on. I also miss being miles away from home. Joking I love my dogs and the rest of the family. That was also a joke if you didn't get that. I'm just going to stop explaining myself.
If there is one thing that this crisis will teach us, is to not take anything for granted. It has made me re evaluate my life so far. Am I doing what I love? Am I happy with the person I am. Am I really going to read this book? Am I hungry or just bored?
Its also made me realise the little things more. My brother making me laugh with his amazing sense of humour. My dog Bruno who has tourettes laying with me at night and then quickly getting up to do another round of twitching. Scruff losing her bow ties and me having to make more for her. Norma and Jill my two fat guinea pigs who sit on my bed watching Spooks with me. Getting up in the morning and not having to put any effort into how I dress because who is going to see me? The last one I already did before...
Finally getting through that to read pile. Yes its easy to fall into the boredom and frustration. But its important that we stay safe. For everyone. Its also important that we keep talking. Checking in with everyone, making sure that they are safe. That if they need help they get it. Currently I've been sending strange videos to my friends in an attempt to cheer them up. They're strange but also funny and for a moment you forget the outside world. That's how we will get through this. Laughter and escaping. Whether that is through binge watching TV, movies or reading a book. Find your escape, your laughter.
I don't know how to explain this blog post. So I'll describe it as a friend of mine once described it. It's a bit Phoebe. I hope this strange and un-themed post has given you an escape. A laugh I hope. Everything I write is at an attempt to make you laugh, smile and relate hopefully. I certainly think a lot of you can relate to my living situation with Clare. I love the woman but she can be a pain.
So for now I shall say, take care.
And if anyone is struggling with anxiety or just wants to talk books, anything really, just message me through the blog, twitter, Facebook. I'll be here.
Till next time,
Side note, I will be uploading some book reviews, I do have 4 to write up and will be posting them in the upcoming weeks. So if you want to keep in the loop, subscribe or become a member. Its free!