I greatly respect my freedom. In my opinion to be free can create an independence that helps a persons self-awareness and confidence. My freedom is wrapped up with wide open spaces and the smell of horse manure. Let me explain…
My Lockdown Exposed ~ The worst time of my life
Updated for Personal Growth in Lockdown – Mainly I had a dreadful time. My mental health suffered and so did my life. But I did think deeply – post coming soon. Until then read about many negative aspects of my lockdown and why it is important to try and stay rational during times of stress…
Lockdown NOW ~ For various reasons at this point in time – 23rd March 2020 – my man and I found ourselves sharing his brothers one bedroom flat in a major city center of Scotland. Trapped, unable to get back into Wales where we have a small but very rural home.
Normally, our work puts us in remote, high oxygenated countryside places. Cancelled because of the lockdown. Suddenly I had lost my home, job, life and it felt like the END. Freedom gone and along with it my independence, confidence, self esteem and sense of identity.
The three of us in a such a small space – meant we had no space. Instead of breathing in fresh air I was unwittingly sniffing the cannabis fulled smog of the tenements. Not only that I had been unprepared and travelled with only a couple of changes of clothing. Forget not being able to go to the hairdressers, I didn’t have anything to put in the one drawer my brother in law had emptied out for me.
Telling myself –
come on May, pull yourself together, things could be worse.
Yeah right – that was true. They swiftly got worse. My brother in law was admitted into hospital after he suffered some heart problems. No visitors allowed. After about ten days, a battery of tests and a newly installed stent he came home a much healthier colour. And with friends to help out my man and I have now escaped to our first job since February and the wonderful smell of horse shit rather than marijuana.
It doesn’t surprise me that suicide rates have risen during the lockdown. Don’t get me wrong I personally was not thinking along those lines but I truly feel I was slowly turning crazy. At one point I lost all rationality and did attempt break out. But that is another story perhaps. My self esteem plummeted daily. I put on weight, not loads but enough to feel unfit. I drank too much to blot out my existence and slept long hours causing the old injury on my knee to flair up slightly. Although I did walk most days but wanted my wellies and green fields. Instead I got the stench of overdue rubbish and dog poo.
I behaved badly, again!
So why did I take it all so badly? I have spent some time as a younger person in cities and small flats. Indeed I was brought up in a suburban town with streets and streets of similar houses. But from the moment I saw the country side I knew that was where I was meant to be. At any opportunity I would jump on a bus ride until I found a large park or preferable woods where I could pretend to be Tarzan.
I recently wrote about when I ran away as a child – there were probably other reasons behind why I did it but I remember wanting to keep walking until the streets widened up to fields and open spaces. But we never got that far.
I think my need not to be fenced in goes back many generations. I was adopted and when I became a grown women I learned of my roots. It then became clear why I wanted to literally run for the hills.
Don’t fence me in
My birth mum is descended from the real Romany gypsies. Her grandparents had lived in the new forest with ponies and travelling caravans. My birth mum’s own father had Mexican blood and my birth father – who I never met – was a sailor! I love the ocean – not boats though. And so it is not really a surprise that I adore all wide open spaces.
As soon as I changed my life to live and work in rural areas I felt free. A sense of largeness, wideness – space – lead me to feel independent and truly confident for the first time in my life. My only regret was I had waited so long. What I am trying to say is that for me there is a definite correlation between having the freedom to choose where I live/work and a feeling of independence, in control and answerable only to me and those I love – confidence follows as a result of being able to be me…
One constructive venture that I was happy to be involved with was right at the start of my lockdown. I joined together with some online friends to record seven days of the lockdown. We each wrote our diaries for the first week of April. Then they were edited and published by the end of April. Find out more about that here.
Learning from the Lockdown
Now I am removed from what I viewed as a kind of jail I am looking at the larger picture. I know I’m taking away some lessons learned. I think it is vital to be prepared for anything in the future. Having plans and a fulfilled life is no guarantee that it will not all be taken from you in a moment.
Be aware, be alert and be prepared. And whilst doing that enjoy your moments of grace.
Here is an image from January 2019. Messing around, posing and taking photos in walking boots, a hat, gloves and without a bra makes me smile. I look at the shot and feel happy and confident. I certainly won’t be taking anything for granted any time soon…
This post was written with four memes in mind – check out the other entries below…