Pandemic 2.0 — Musings during life in lockdown #300DaysofSurf
Choice is what defines humans. It can be a funny feeling when choice is taken away from you. The choice to decide what to wear, where to eat, whether you can travel, and just small minute decisions that you can take in life.
It’s been an interesting last 1.5 years where we all had to compromise on this decision-making ability that is so inherently human. While I coped with the last two lockdowns, the current one, I confess has hit me hard.
Today is 27 June 2021, and I write from a serious two-week lockdown to curb the delta variant of covid!
Personally, I believe I have been lucky and privileged that I was able to sustain lockdown 1 and 2 (early March 2020 and December 2020) and come out on the other side without serious ramifications on many fronts — mental and physical health, finance, jobs, and life in general. I can count numerous occasions where I have felt grateful to be in Australia during the lockdown just because the reality around us is completely different. There is some sort of safety net around possibly due to the system giving a damn (unlike India where I felt the government let its citizens down — that’s a piece for another day). Though on many fronts I do not agree with Australia’s whole approach of dealing with the pandemic with the blocking of borders and severely constricting human movement — by and large the system is working and relatively safe.
I was personally unfazed with multiple iterations of lockdown mainly because at times I felt I was living in a weird bubble. My immediate surroundings are not hard hit by the pandemic and life by and large continued. I could surf, play tennis and do the usual activities that further led me to live and believe in the ‘bubble’ however I think there are times when you come face to face with reality.
It started with hearing about numerous instances of my extended family members passing away in India due to Covid and families torn apart by the pandemic. It was incomprehensible what people back home were going through and feeling because the bubble around me looked safe. It was like living in a parallel reality.
This is the first time I deeply feel the impact of this lockdown. It's mainly caused by two fronts.
- A stark realization of uncertainty around when I can see my friends and family again. The familiar sounds, the human connection is what I crave for
- The feeling of being an outsider/a foreigner/expat again — of just living on the edge, visiting but never really settling.
The question is how do I keep going from here on? Can I find an internal motivator that pushes me to continue despite the blurry road ahead?
I am looking deep inside for answers and a thought hits me hard. During times of uncertainty, I have always believed in just waking up and pushing through, resilient, just showing up — doing what I love — wholly and completely immersing myself and letting my passion consume me. I have found that surfing and seeking a connection with the ocean has/had and will always have a healing effect on me so far.
I have decided to start keeping a count and track every day of my affair with the waves from hereon and keep a journal on my blog. My time in OZ might not be infinite as I crave to see my friends and family again. I do not have a concrete answer as to why I am doing this — maybe it's just my way of revolting or making the most out of the situation at hand. I also feel deep gratitude for finding a deep connection and love for the ocean, I wonder how it would be if I wasn’t exposed to the mysteries and charm of waves.
I will be doing a personal mission of 300 days of surf starting tomorrow to ensure I can use the outlet I have during such times — the ocean. During the next few days, I will try and get out of my comfort zone and wholeheartedly chase the thing that gives me true, unadulterated happiness and share my stories/thoughts and experiences in the process.
Someone told me when I started surfing about ‘trusting the process’ and not so much the result or destination — this will be a documentation of the process I undertake and my stories along the way as I start my mission (maybe pointless but one nonetheless). I will also try and share moments experienced, musings, and learnings that hopefully might motivate you to get out of your comfort zone and chase something that you really wanted while keeping yourself accountable and grounded.
Sometimes, when the road gets tough, there is power in the act of just showing up and that’s what I have decided to do.
Share support for an endeavor that might take every ounce of motivation, confidence, and inner strength I have. I am sure it will be frustrating and equally rewarding or might leave me with mixed bittersweet feelings but I am keen to see where this will lead to.
For every day of my surf, beyond the documentation of my experience and learnings, I will also be giving away $10 for every day of surfing undertaken in this blog to a nonprofit! I haven't shortlisted but I am keen to work with an organization in India preferably in the space of sports as I have experienced the power that sports can have on your mental and physical wellbeing firsthand.
The search is on and I will be sharing details of the organization soon.
And so the journey begins…
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step — Lao Tzu