The COVID Lockdown here in South London has been a fraught one for me. It didn’t start out that way. I’m used to spending hours on my own. When I was younger I thought this was a defect but then discovered it had a label – INTROVERT. Shrugging my shoulders philosophically, I gave in to my inner nature and split my time between friends, work, writing and watching my favourite films and TV programmes. So I wasn't unduly concerned about the London ‘Lockdown’.
My guest (no doubt spurred on by the mystery tasks I set her each day) left for more permanent accommodation in Richmond and I assumed I would settle back into my daily routine minus the friend visiting. But once my guest left I developed an inertia I couldn’t shake. Quite simply, I went into a depression. I barely moved off the sofa except to get myself something to eat or drink.
In retrospect, this was a long time coming. Last November through to December I was very ill. I realised at that point I had to change my lifestyle and decided to quit my teaching jobs to focus on my writing and Airbnb guests. I set this plan in motion by resigning from various workplaces. I was about to rely solely on my Airbnb income because my writing income is still incredibly precarious. I was about to take a GAMBLE. It’s not in my nature. But I figured that since I was getting a small but regular income from Airbnb, it would all work out.
Not being prescient, I didn’t anticipate the COVID crisis. Before I could count to 5 never mind 10, London and the rest of the UK was in Lockdown. Without consulting hosts, Airbnb blocked their calendars indefinitely. I no longer had any income at all. And still I believed I could deal with this situation completely SOLO.
I had forgotten that famous quote: “No (wo)man is an island.”
It was time for a long hard look at what I wanted from life. It was time for me to be honest with myself.
So this is what my London Lockdown has taught me about myself:
- I am not an island
- I don’t like being alone
- I self-sabotage my writing career
- I used to love teaching but it’s no longer for me
- I like human interaction more than I realised even though I’m an introvert
- I prefer human contact to online interaction – even if that contact is sporadic and at a time of my choice
It taught me a whole lot of other stuff too but I don’t want to bore you with that. What’s important right now is that I’m starting to get back to the ME I used to be. I’m writing again, mainly poetry and not all the time. But I’m writing again. And now I’ve written this blog post. I’m tackling my self-sabotaging behaviour one task at a time.
At this point I would like to extend huge thanks to my homeopath and all my friends who have been supporting me while I was having my meltdown. As Bette would say, “you are the wind beneath my wings.”
All my books are now available for Nook, iBook, Kobo & reader subscription services such as Scribd
To celebrate this fact, Memoirs of a Feline Familiar is currently on sale
The July sales of Zoo Nation means Bev and I are donating £10 to our chosen charities this month.
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