Just like everyone else, I have been trying to adjust to the new normal.
I have always prided myself in my ability to survive loneliness. I sometimes like being alone yes, there is a lot of us out there. This pandemic, however, has been as challenging for me as it probably is for everyone else.
As an international student, I am not home with my parents and family during this time. I find myself drawing parallels between what is happening here and what is happening in Kenya. I, however, have made peace with that. I have therefore decided to make do with what is available for me. This means finding joy in the littlest things. In doing so I have discovered what works and what does not.
The one thing I find exasperating now is silence. As a writer, I have grown to appreciate silence. I thrive in it, libraries, parks and quiet secluded places were my spots. It was for the longest time the only way I could get anything done. Now I cannot stand it. I am constantly listening to music, leaving the television on. Anything to be rid of it.
My neighbours upstairs are always lifting weights; anyone that lives or has lived below a gym understands how frustrating this can be. The soft thuds used to irk me to no end. It was as if a couple of elephants lived above me. Was there a survival fitness test that I was not privy to? Now, I find the soft thuds comforting. It is a constant reminder that I am not alone.
I also find that I am susceptible to mood changes. I will go from happy to sad in an hour minutes. It is understandable with all confusion and panic going on. However, I have found a solution for this. Movies and music are essential to putting me in my happy place. As a realist, I have always been sceptical of the idea of happy conclusions. The world is not just light and darkness, fairy tales are just that tales, they happen to less than 1 per cent of us.
You can therefore understand how baffled I was to find myself bingeing these movies. It is like a craving I have no control over. My brain is constantly trying to feel at ease. So find what makes you happy now, old school music, new music, movies you watched as a child anything that makes you happy.
Loneliness during these times can be saddening. If you find yourself alone, there are many ways to communicate with people. Yes, we have all seen the memes, people calling back people who texted them months ago. Online dating has seen a substantial influx of new clients. Humans need to interact with each other so we are all finding ways to do so.
If this is not your way, then find comfort in being the best companion you can be for yourself. I have been watching movies and commenting on them out loud. No I am not going crazy, say your thoughts aloud, I promise it is not as outrageous as you think. Think of it as having a friend that does not interrupt you when you say things. Finally keep in touch with those close to you make calls, they make you feel better.
Finally keep yourself occupied. No matter how ridiculous you think the activities are. I have tried to make music, play the drums, changed the lyrics to my favourite songs and practiced on my dance moves. Trust me the hours will pass by faster. If you have, kids or siblings find games to play.
In our busy lifestyles we do not spend enough time together. Parents ask your kids what they want to do or what they would like to watch. Show the kids the movies you grew up watching make this as enjoyable as you can. It would be amazing if we came out of this with new normal(s). So stay safe wherever you are and keep in touch. We all need each other during these times.