• Bola Kwame

It Took A Pandemic For Me To Become A Functional Adult

We have read thousands of stories during quarantine. The story of success and self-improvement of those who realized that they didn't love what they did and took control of their lives. They started a business, quit their 9 to 5 jobs, and achieved financial freedom.

We also hear the stories of the less fortunate who lost their jobs, their sources of income, and their entire lives crashed in a matter of months.

Me? I'm in a boring and uninspiring in-between.

I am very grateful because I write this from fortune and the privilege of being able to say that I always had a source of income and health. Millions of people cannot say the same.

But, as terrible as this may sound, the ending of the pandemic makes me nervous.

Do you remember where you were in that infamous March 2020?

I was in my penultimate semester of university, I had plans to travel with my friends, start new hobbies, I was young and full of life.

Then, the funniest thing happened - Bo Burnham

Luckily for me, I was already earning some money writing online, and like many, the pandemic made me improve at it and make it my main source of income. So for many months, I worked and finished college from home.

We all know the process. An energetic start full of motivation, exercises at home, trying meditation, learning how to use Zoom, not knowing how Zoom works, becoming a fan of the 200 thousand podcasts that were launched, losing sanity, regain it, lose it again… and then it's July 2021.

However, after a dizzying year, I found some stability and normalcy. In fact, I found more stability than I ever had.

I was never one of the multitaskers, I felt like I was suffocating if there were more than 3 things a week on my schedule. I always admired those who were in clubs, played a sport, and actively practiced their hobbies. I always focused on one or two things tops.

During the pandemic, I found the balance of doing the things I have to do and the things I want to do and having time for everything. It was all a matter of simple organization and a lot of trial and error.

Now I sleep better, I wake up early without an alarm clock, I have a good breakfast, I work, I'm getting another degree, I exercise, I enrolled in writing classes, I started studying Portuguese. Two years ago me would be impressed.

I am very happy where I am now, but there is a thought that sometimes keeps me from sleeping at night. This was all due to the pandemic, of course, will I be able to maintain this lifestyle after it ends?

Maybe I don't want to go back to normal

What if when I return to face-to-face classes I feel suffocated again? Will I be able to maintain a stable income as a freelancer? Will I find time to take classes and workshops on things that I am passionate about?

It feels like I have Stockholm syndrome, just this time the kidnapper is Covid-19.

Maybe the answer is yes, and I'm overthinking it. But I am bothered by the idea that a world crisis had to go through for me to be able to behave as a responsible and efficient adult.

I am proud of my progress, of what I have achieved and I work not to compare myself with the progress of others. I am aware of my luck and privilege and I don't want to sound like a victim and make a pandemic revolve around me.

I will continue working on obtaining my diploma, making my online work a source of income that pays my bills without selling my soul to the devil, and on being a better person.

Hopefully, that voice in my head that won't let me sleep some nights will shut up.


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