Like many of you, I'm suffering from lock down fever. How is everyone managing with it? I'm seeing both sides of the coin from people I talk to. There's those of us who live alone. We're not working, and we're struggling for human contact/interaction. We go to the store, and that five minute conversation with the pretty cute cashier makes you well up inside. Their fingertips graze your palm as they give you a receipt, or some change, and your skin gets that electric feeling to it. You play out entire lifetimes in your head, about how this VERY SPECIFIC PERSON and you, that you don't know outside of your 49 second interaction, save for their name. You could hang out during lock down. You could eat ice-cream till 4am watching Full Metal Alchemist. You could go on walks down a canal, and discuss your goals in life.
Then you slap back into reality, say “Thanks, I'll see you next time, stay safe” and just fucking....get on with your life. Within 3 minutes, you've forgotten about them, and you're thinking “Should I have that can of tuna on my wrap, or shred some chicken...” and that entire lifetime is gone, in an instant.
For me, at the moment, it's been surprisingly Zen. I have a schedule, in that I have no schedule. It's like when you see an office where everything's just scattered. To the outside eye, it's...pandemonium. But to you, there's method to the madness. That's what my life is at the moment. I roll out of bed anywhere between 9 and 10:30. I grab an energy drink (Zero sugar, zero cal, I gotta lose that weight). I might make some prawn toast, or have left over stir fry. Then I roll over to my desk, and start talking to my friends. I have a lot of different friends, and they're all equally valued. I have one good friend, who I talk to, and we go from topic to topic like a fucking ping pong table. I have my gaming friends, who, realistically, are my best friends. Like, I kinda lost a lot of my real life friends a long time ago. After University, we kinda just...drifted apart. It's like any friendship I guess. Once you lose that proximity, it takes a herculean effort to stay in touch, because...you just stop giving a shit. One of my absolute best friends I've ever had, we make an active effort all the time to talk. We met in college, aged 16, and we've probably talked every day since. He actually left the UK to move to Canada with his girlfriend. I'm thrilled for him, cause she's a fucking winner. I'm ecstatic that he won the lottery of life, and is now living his best life. I hope I see him soon. Anyway, yeah, my internet pals. I have an extremely tight knit friendship with the 5 of us. We hang out every day, we're playing games, we're chatting shit, we're meming. All sorts. One of my closest friends, we hang out every day on discord. Like I said, there's no real schedule, but at 1pm every day, we make time to have a voice call and just...hang out. Like, we don't really do much. We just chat. And boy, is that daily conversation absolute fuel for my fire at the moment. I wouldn't know what I'd do every day without my friends. I guess I wanna say...make time for your friends at the moment. Recently, I was inspired to reach out to an old friend. One of the best friends I've ever had. I moved away, and we just lost contact. Such is life. But I reached out to him, after not speaking to him in 6 years, and it just...sent this shiver up my spine when I got that message back from him. We've both been through some shit, and it was just amazing to hear back from him again. And, I worry that, without lock down...I might have let that errant friendship gather more dust, and rot away. I have the people I'm going to be depending on for the next...1-5 years- the ones that I'm moving to Japan with. I've been speaking to our 90 person strong Facebook group, daily. We have an even more bespoke LINE group, where it's just bonding, all day every day. I have people who I've been talking to directly, who I've come to love talking to every day. I've made so many friends, and I'm still 3 months outside of Japan. Imagine what it's gonna be like when we actually get to meet up. Neo Tokyo is about to explode. If I'm allowed to surmise this train of thought, please take this message:
Please, reach out to your loved ones, and people you care about. That friend you haven't spoken to since college? I promise you, they'll be as thrilled to hear from you as you them.
Right, what was I going on about again? This blog was supposed to be about nostalgia, and how massive of an impact it makes in our lives
So, in my lockdown state of mind, I've been doing some thinking about “The good old days”, and if they were infact, the good old days. I know there's the whole notion of “The Rose Tinted Glasses”, and I think that statement rings through in such a sonorous way nowadays. I'm not necessarily talking about “pre COVID 19” era, I mean thinking about a time in your life when you thought you were objectively “happy”. When I think back about that, I think of a very specific time, and I know it exactly.
It was around about the time when I was playing World of Warcraft back in 06-09. Back at that time in my life, I was just in absolute Nirvana every day. I'd wake up, and I'd go to college and hang out with my friends all day. I think back to those times, when we'd just hang out in-between lessons every day, and it was just...man, it was something else. I'd finish school for the day, and go home and play WoW with my online friends. At the time, despite playing MMO's for years, I don't think one connected with me like Warcraft did. It just had this...IT Factor for me that, looking back, I don't think any other game has, or likely, ever will again. But I'm not sure if I actually liked the game at the forefront of this memory. I think, arguably, it was the time in my life when I played it. I had the world at my feet, and it was just this 4 years of absolute harmony in my life. Then the end of University hit, a bad relationship happened, and the weight of the world was kinda on my shoulders. I stopped “enjoying” life, and just “got on with it”. One way to interpret, I guess, is that I was “existing” and not “living”.
That kinda extended for a while. Bad, sporadic relationships and a lack of effort about life made me kinda exist with this smog of miasma across my life. It was like, when you have the TV on in another room. You can kinda hear that it's on, but you can't really define what's going on. There's just this...background sound going on.
When I think back about the “Good old days”, I used to think “I wish there was a way to know you're in the good times before you left them”. A friend inspired me lately to think of a more modern approach about it.
It shouldn't be “Those were the days”.
It should be “These are the days”
If life's taught me anything lately, it's that you need to just...grab that ring. It's why I'm dropping everything in my life and moving to Japan to teach English in September. There could not be a bigger leap of faith for someone like me, who's historically played it safe. I wanna get out there man. Live new experiences, meet new people, make new friends, just go out there and get life.
I take a lot of inspiration from Aurelius, but if I was to sum up his thoughts, it probably speaks to me most with “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live”.
How are you all coping with lock down? Are you keeping in touch with your friends and family? What's driving you to go on at the moment? I'd absolutely love to talk about what's making us happy.