At the beginning of the year, I was still in the same routine of going to work, going to the gym, going out with my friends, and spending one day a week with my partner (if we were lucky and had the same day off in common). Also, I was taking a few weeks of holiday every year to travel around and visit my family in France. That was my life and I was pretty happy with it.
Then Covid happened, and we slowly watched the world shutting down. I remember seeing the first TV reportages about China going into lockdown. I was amazed by the sight of cities with millions of residents suddenly deserted, and I was thinking “this is not going to happen here”. Well, it did.
In fact, Melbourne has had one of the longest lockdown in the world. It began at the end of March, and life went back to the “new normal” for a few weeks at the beginning of June. Then came the beginning of July and the second wave in Victoria, where everything shut down again until the beginning of November; with even harsher restrictions than the first lockdown.
I was still working during all that time, but way less than before. And most importantly, I had a normal schedule: I was only working daytime. And trust me, working in hospitality for most of my life, I was so grateful for that! Being able to come home in the late afternoon, have dinner with my partner every night was something new to me. Even better, being able to spend all of my days off with him, as he wasn’t working at all, was amazing.
Daily life during lockdown
I am not gonna lie, I am an introverted person and I need time for myself. I like to be alone and I thought that this lockdown was going to be hard, as I would have to be with him always at home. In fact, it was not, and I will always be grateful for having to spend this time with him. We found a natural rhythm that worked for both of us. I tend to start my day early anyway, so in the morning I would wake up at least two hours before him and do my things (like writing for this blog) and enjoy my time alone.
We did more activities together than it ever happened. We went for long walks in the park or at the beach – thankfully it is was in the authorized perimeter! We cooked a lot together. We watched movies together. We simply enjoyed each other company on a daily basis.
And then, reality hit back. We are finally free from lockdown. Life is busy again, we are both going back to real work, and we don’t spend much time with each other again. It might be surprising for many people, but I will always be grateful for this time of our life.
How I feel with the “new normal”
So why did I decide to write this post? Because I am convinced that I am not the only one feeling this way. And at the same time, I feel guilty for expressing these feelings when millions of people around the world lost their jobs, are experiencing financial hardship, or worst: lost loved ones during this pandemic. You might find miserable that all I am complaining about is the time I don’t have anymore!
But the truth is that this “new normal” has had an impact on my mindset, particularly professionally. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of my job and this pause has made things worse. All I can see about it is the negative: long hours and not many rewards. I chose hospitality in the first place as this was a career that could make me travel around the world. And that’s what I did. I worked in a few places around France, in the UK and of course Australia, where I settled. So, now that my biggest advantage is gone (the ability to travel wherever I want) what’s left?
I guess now is time to answer those questions. I will be turning 31 years old next year, and what I would love the most is being able to do something I love every day. All I want is being able to go work – or work for myself with a smile.
Don’t get me wrong, hospitality has been a hell of a ride. I’ve met people from all around the world, some of them became my closest friends. I’ve had the best laughs, the best parties, the best nights out. I met my partner in the first restaurant I’ve worked in Melbourne. Once again, this is something I will always be grateful for.
Hospitality is where a day is never the same. I’ve served awful customers treating me like s*** and adorable people who made my day – and thankfully, they are the majority! I was always happy to see a smile on their face. Hospitality is a beautiful industry to work in, but that comes with a lot of sacrifices.
Getting these thoughts off my chest
These are thoughts that I needed to take off my chest. These are the kind of questions going through my mind for a few weeks now and they are starting to have an impact on my mental health. Curiously, this is happening while going be to a normal life.
Would blogging be my thing? I started this blog back in April, to share some of my passions with you. I never thought that blogging could be an actual job, that there are other ways to make an income than a traditional full-time job. I am passionate about self-care, personal growth, and wellness, but would I be able to add something to the blogging world and actually help people? Am I willing to task that risk? Am I good enough for people to read my blog consistently?
All I can do is start believing in it. Do you know what my favourite quote is?
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. – Les Brown
I originally started writing these thoughts while journaling, and I realized that I should share it: some of you might feel the same than me! As always, I will be happy to see your comments, or any thoughts you may have on that post.