“If you don’t come out of this lockdown with a mastered skill, you’re a failure…” If I had a dollar for each time I have read or been told the above; I would have money to pay this month’s rent and the electricity bill. I find this phrase to be disingenuous, for it doesn’t take into consideration the various lived experiences and processes that people go through.
A process is defined as a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end. It’s a given, we all process situations and circumstances differently. Be it a creative process or when dealing with personal issues like pain, trauma, healing, or merely reacting to either good or bad news.
Upon the announcement of the initial lockdown, I was relieved one because I thought the anxiety and pressure surrounding my work would reduce and that I would have time to write. Yes, I identify as a writer, and my time had come, oh, how wrong I was.
See, I have a writing process. It mainly takes place in my head. It entails conceptualising a topic and crafting a catchy title, exploring the issue as I piece together what I want to discuss, and ultimately ends in writing it down at preferably 2 am. Of course, there are those sporadic moments when an idea comes to mind, or of late when I am overwhelmed by emotion and in a flash, I am lost in my writing pad, pouring it all out. The majority of these never get to see the light of day. (Work in progress) A colleague shared that she has to sit in a quiet room and stare outside a window for two days before writing, and she is currently the knowledge and innovation Advisor of a global organisation. Without the two days, no writing occurs. Fascinating, isn't it?
With COVID came a lot of uncertainty that resulted in off the roof anxiety. From news of the source of livelihood being curtailed to deaths and situations involving those I care about that have left me feeling helpless. Productivity has been affected immensely. I would like to imagine I am not alone.
This is not a call for pity. I want us to realize and accept the fact that we all have processes, to some, these have been passed onto us by those we admire while others, we have read about and taken them to be the gospel truth. It is these processes that make us uniquely different. You are a healthy, resilient mind who has mastered how to compartmentalise and excel during this time, well and good. It shouldn’t take away the fact that the rest are slow and are allowing themselves to process everything as it occurs to them. Let’s respect each other’s processes.
Also, if this season has had you struggling, I want you to know that you’re not alone, it is okay, it will get better and you are allowed to take it one day at a time. 💛