December (possibly?) 2022
In a break away from my normal content, although in typing that I’m not sure what that would be perceived to be, I want to delve into something which has been haunting my thoughts. Yes, I’ve been feverish with the latest influenza strain to hit the London streets and I admit this could well be responsible.
The pandemic has had a profound and life-changing effect on me. In no way do I think that I am unusual or alone in being able to state that. However I’m not sure many of us are able to tangibly say what changes we have experienced or are able to put our fingers on what exactly has happened. However, I have a tendency to overthink and analyse everything I do to within a minute detail often not considered by many. I’m not bragging when I say this, it’s crippling sometimes to exist this way so don’t feel envious!
Personally, I can summarise my feelings and thoughts in three ways.
Firstly, I suddenly and unexpectedly feel incredibly old. I am, dare I say, only 35. But in my everyday experiences I now feel like I float somewhere in a longing for the past and embracing the future which is both exciting and terrifying.
Break: I clearly started this post while very feverish and unwell because I have absolutely no recollection of starting it. However, even I’m impressed and what a start to a post, so here I am to finish it in February 2023. I hope I can recall the train of thought and do it justice.
I still feel old. I notice things about my body and thoughts that make me feel this way. I resolve to make things better but I can only really admit to attending regular therapy now which is helpful but a mere fraction of what I should be doing. Notably, the oldest I have felt is attending music gigs last month with LB. Teenagers queuing for hours and then dancing, when two hours in a queue on three hours sleep is enough to make me feel like I’m in a haze at best is something I feel hard.
I have plans to write something around the topic of music so I won’t go into this too far but my age and potential midlife crisis is something I’m dealing with. Realising you’re on the wrong side of youth and heading firmly into the scary place (by that I mean the adultier adults and if you know you know) is terrifying.
Secondly, on top of that. Time and experiences seem precious and immensely significant. I’ve found myself refusing to watch a video or listen to someone speak if it goes on longer than I think I have to commit to it. Yes I can appreciate that’s rude, but this sense of time being something I don’t have, not just because I’m veering on being geriatric, but there’s an illogical part of my brain which is considering what if years get written off again? What if viruses now frequent our lives and lock downs become seasonal. Reasonably I know this to not be true, but fear doesn’t work with logic.
Thirdly, I think the pandemic has changed my perspective on death a little. I used to consider death as a hugely personal thing, that it happens to you so you get to call the shots and sod everyone else. Funnily, I still think this about my own death and I’ll hold that until the day it happens, but my idea of what that means has changed. The pandemic has shown us the huge impact to the living which occurs in mass death situations. I know that this has happened before, during wars and in times when mortality was much higher than now in younger ages. However, I think we have no intention to push this away and ignore it. To shun death and not speak of it through fear of it happening. There are many like me who know what grief can look like, what can help in those situations and what can make it worse. I have a lot of thoughts about what this means. At a very basic level I think it means changes to the funeral industry, I hope it means changes in education and in discussions had within families.
I’ll end on a point I’ve been meaning to make for a while. I’m not sure feverish Gem considered this with the initial intention of the post but mildly anaemic Gem is here to state it. I’m oftem asked at work in training sessions to care staff if I’m okay. They always ask this in reference to the fact I deal with death on a daily basis and nothing deeper than that. I laugh as a primary reaction, mainly because I want to scream I’M NOT OKAYYYYY like Gerard Way in response.
As much as I know that’s a bit of a niche reference I know some of you will understand. The other reason why I laugh, and what I actually say is ‘How much time do you have?’ because short answer is yes, I hope so and I hope it continues that way. The long answer is all of the above and more. I’m an overthinker and is an overthinkers ever truly okay if they can consider all the possibilities of how it can go catastrophically wrong all at once?
NB: I’m aware that this is largely a brain dump and not a huge amount of detail. However, please comment or get it touch if you’d like to discuss further or for me to elaborate!
overthinker over here. I’m around your age and really think death gets short shrift in most people’s lives
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