Manchester, UK

So… Is This Post-Pandemic Me?

Rachy Lewis
Rachy Lewis in yellow t-shirt

Feels a bit like getting back on a bike for the first time after a crash. There’s a tangible fear accompanied by a strong desire not to let the shock of it all have the power over me, take a ride and see where it leads me. Perhaps, I could also describe this as having to use a language you haven’t spoken for ages, your tongue may be ready to spill the words your mind hopes to inject, but up in there is all foggy memories and abandoned potential.

I guess at some point, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was meant to be doing. Call it imposter syndrome or just being lost in a maze of little big emotions. I would look at myself in the mirror and not really see myself. I was waking up to busy grey skied mornings and not really doing anything – or anything that felt like something. My mind was flooded with thoughts and ideas that were taking no shape; less of a work of art to hang on a wall, more an abstract sketch that exudes questionable emotions. I’d say I’d been living on autopilot, running and running like a hamster on a wheel: going places yet nowhere at all…

It’s been hard to read myself lately, it’s like picking up a book that’s just too difficult to understand and the most important clues are stained with something dark that’s become one with each page; a strenuous experience where I have to try putting the pieces together to see the big picture and understand the plot twist.

Rachy Lewis
Rachy Lewis

I always knew I’d have to face myself at some point, but these things are easier said than done and the avoidance game is one that can only be played many and many times before it becomes sickening.

It’s somehow always easy to put off things that are good for my health.

“No, I’ll do it tomorrow”. “Hmmm, maybe later”. “Just a matter of time now, I’ll do it for sure”.
Eventually, the more I push it a minute forward into the future the more anticipation builds up, leaving the weight of the promised task to become heavier and heavier with the passing of time. Yes, I had been telling myself it was time to refill my pen with ink; whether it was dotted lines or words jotted down to make sense of it all, I swore I’d be back to drawing my thoughts on a page. Instead, there I was, pushing it further away, making it tomorrow’s problem. I knew deep down it was time I start to get to know my post-pandemic self…

‘Who am I now, really?’

Rachy Lewis
Rachy Lewis

When I stopped creating, I believe that was the one question that was resurfacing in my mind every time I decided I was ready to start a new chapter. Last year, I probably wrote more words than I ever had in the span of 365 days, whether it was in a private journal or here on the blog. The world was on fire – literally, and because I definitely did not have the power to put it out, I did the only thing I knew to do: write. My thoughts felt at home on paper and there was comfort in letting emotions roam free and onto other blue light screens each week. It was cathartic in many ways and routine in others – plus, I had a whole lot of time on my hand… well, we all did.

Then somewhere along the line, I started to experience THE burnout. I was feeling more, creating more, but it felt like I was just going through the motions; not really creating in search of something new, but merely for the sake of doing it. I, like many others, had lost my sense of routine, so I fixed my grip tightly on the only one I had and decided to hold firmly until my hands bled, red and dry.
And just like that, I started to lose touch with my creative side, the part of me I thought I knew better than anyone else. Somehow, the part of myself I nurtured over the years began to feel unfamiliar and distant, like a shadow disappearing in the smoke and the more I tried to chain her to me, the more I lost grip. The pandemic stole a lot from us, but I guess I did not expect to lose so much of my sense of self too…

All that said, I think it’s time I yield to the intense craving I’ve been brushing off to get back into the routine of things once again. My unintended hiatus has lasted quite a while, and while I will admit it’s been nicer in many ways living life without the online noise, it seems like the right time to pull the curtains and have a little heart to heart with you all as we normally do on here.
Not much has changed. I haven’t had a divine lightbulb moment or an enlightening of sorts, but sometimes you don’t need all the answers to step back into the ring. You just need a little push and a whole lot of courage to be vulnerable again.

Your restless romantic roamer

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One response to “So… Is This Post-Pandemic Me?”

  1. Sian says:

    I really enjoyed reaching this, Rachy. I have definitely gone through the motions due the pandemic during the last year or so, and it has left me feeling like I don’t have a tether. It’s like as much as I’d like to have routine, and be creating, I don’t know how to do it… Everything feels alien! I’ve started to put steps in place to make me feel more comfortable – like saying no, taking my time and not using my energy on things I don’t have the ability to process (social media!) – but you’re right. It’s not about having all the answers, it’s mustering the courage and vulnerability to get out of one space into another! xxx

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