• Claire

Life in limbo - finding joy in slowing down

Updated: Jun 23

It's crazy to think that less than 3 months ago my whole life was in Whistler, Canada and I was beginning to prepare for my upcoming round-the-world trip. I was super excited for my future global travel plans and had become accustomed to the lifestyle I'd been living for the past two years - the independence of living overseas, the freedom of working seasonal/temporary jobs and the satisfaction of ticking off bucket-list life experiences along the way.

Life was fast-paced, exciting. The last two years had been the best years of my life.

While I'd worked really hard to save up the cash to fund my RTW trip, I realised I had a lot more freedom and a lot fewer responsibilities than most people around the world. I was really grateful for that. I pitied my friends back home with full-time jobs limited to only four weeks of holiday per year.

"How crazy", I remember commenting to a friend, "I could literally buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the world."

Often we have a false sense that we're in complete control of our lives and the decisions we make until suddenly, the universe throws us a curveball. That curveball came in fast and hard in the form of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

My plans were de-railed almost as fast as counties began going into lockdown and borders started closing. I made the last-minute difficult but necessary decision to uproot my life and move back home to the other side of the world. The journey back home was equally stressful as it was uncomfortably eerie. One cancelled flight, multiple breakdowns in LAX and 24-hours later I arrived back to Sydney and straight into two weeks of government-mandated quarantine.

And just like that, I was home to normal life, but what is home now? What is normal?

I found a sliver of comfort in the fact that millions of people all over the world, are too, adjusting to a 'new normal'. I've now found myself in a strange kind of limbo and to be honest, it's been hard. I've found it hard to relax and have felt my creativity crushed. I place a lot of pressure on myself to be 'making the most of this time'.

My inner monologue constantly questions if I'm using my time wisely enough, learning enough, networking enough, writing enough, applying to enough jobs etc...

It's exhausting.

I've found relief in focusing on the simple joys in each day. Cooking myself really delicious and nutritious meals (many loaves of sourdough and banana bread included). Going for long walks, exploring new neighbourhoods. Planting a vegetable/herb garden - finding satisfaction in watching seeds grow to seedlings and seedlings grow into an ingredient I can use in my dinner.

Taking each day at a time. Practising mindfulness and feeling grateful.

Sunset over Sydney CBD from Sydney Park

I’m not sure what’s next, what this 'new normal' is going to look like. But it's going to be okay. It will be a new, different kind of adventure.

Slowly, life will adjust to a state of normality again.