Manchester, UK

ON SECOND THOUGHT – The Uncertain Certainty That Things Will Get Better

Isn’t it strange that the thing I look forward to the most during the week is the moment when looking up, I don’t see a ceiling, but the bright sky staring down at me? They are the moments that exist beyond the borders of the four walls that have comforted me in the past six months – moments of panic, deep reflection, profound static.

During this period my bedroom has felt like an unbreakable shelter with unmovable pillars; safe from the rest of the world, eerily familiar even with my eyes closed. In here I’ve created a safe space, a place of my own; unique in design where my scent roams free and knows no bounds. It’s a fortress I’ve made my own, a layout I know by heart where I sing loudly and dance to the beat of my own drum.

But that’s the thing with overfamiliarity and being a captive in the one place you love; no matter how secure and reliable it feels, you always crave one thing more – the outside.

I’m sure at some point this year, you too have had an unquenchable hunger to be outside. No borders, no walls, no windows. Just you, all you are, and the space far and wide. You too might want to leave your shelter and fall into a world void of abnormal restrictions and ever-changing dos and don’ts. Maybe you’ve wished for the old normal too and whispered your tears in the night hoping no one would hear you make a sound. Or worse, your safe place was never safe to begin with and outside could no longer be your shelter now.

Here in Manchester and other areas of northern England we’ve been subject to new restrictions that came unexpectedly on Thursday which were to be put in place at midnight. It didn’t come entirely as a surprise to me as I feel like 2020 has surely exhausted that element, but I guess reading the news update flash up on my phone added a whole new layer of uncertainty. Only a few weeks ago I was contemplating what steps I should take in beginning to go out again, but here we are; outside has begun to feel like a scary place again (maybe I always felt that though).

As I brushed my teeth yesterday morning, I had a chat with my mum and sister about the current state of things. We talked about how this year swept us up our feet and swung us into the unknown – where we’ll land none of us really know. We also discussed the idea of waiting for 2021 to come.
A lot of us have said it before, I’m sure I have at least; ‘wake me up in 2021’. I said different versions of that statement many times somehow insinuating that the year, aka these 366 days are somehow the problem. As if the morning after New Year’s Eve we’d wake up to discover that all the problems the year brought will somehow be erased. That simply won’t happen.

That is not to say that we are doomed and it’s definitely not to say that we should let our fears take over.

Things will get better, they will for sure, it’s only a matter of when and how. I’ve said it before, but the reason why it’s difficult to adjust to our new way of life is all the uncertainty surrounding it. The experts are unsure. Politicians are unsure. We are unsure. In this whole equation, there are simply little to no definite answers and of course, that reality is an uncomfortable one to deal with.

If everyone could just get on the same page, act responsibly, wear a damn mask, then things would definitely get better – quicker.

When I do get those precious moments outside, they feel special, a lot more valuable than they did months ago. I believe that’s why the saying is famous; you never realize what you got till it’s gone.
‘Everything will be alright’ is often easy to say. People are rather quick to throw that phrase back at our problems they can’t solve. It’s one that rolls off the tip our tongues easily and can be expressed without too much calculation. Sometimes, it’s the response we don’t want to hear in the heat of the moment because it can come across as mechanical and distant. But things do get better, it’s only a matter of time and that is uncertain.

Maybe you need to hear that. Maybe I need to hear that.

DO YOUR PART. WEAR YOUR MASK.

Your restless romantic roamer

How are you feeling about the new restrictions?

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