I don’t know what to do with myself. There is neither an easier way to express this nor to start this article. I simply don’t know what to do with myself. In an alternative universe, this is the best summer of my life. In this alternative universe, I’m currently days away from seeing my favourite singer live for the first time after dreaming about the moment for 10 years. Weeks away from my graduation that I have been waiting for since before I’ve known myself. My family are coming to London to visit me for the first time since I started university. I’ve been planning on where to take them, my sister’s been saving money for shopping, my mum’s been exercising more because she wants to look the best she can in my graduation photos. My friends and I have been trying to find the perfect dress for the day. I hope I got the internship I wanted in that universe, I’ve been doing a lot the past year to develop my skills.
And now back to the reality. I’m not in London, the concert is cancelled, no graduation any time soon and even when it happens, there’s no guarantee that I will make it and there is a high possibility that even if I make it, my family won’t all be there. Not all of my friends may make it as well, the ones that will have a job, the ones that will be writing postgraduate dissertations, the ones that are long distances away and the ones that are simply over it. This version of me doesn’t have an internship, she is stuck in a country that cannot support her goals and she can’t return to London anytime soon. She has to listen to how she has to come up with a new plan, how her choice of degree was wrong, how she may never and shouldn’t return to London ever. Multiple voices drilling into her head too frequently that her own starts saying, ‘what’s the point?’
Maybe I sound selfish in a world where a lot of people are facing death, and a lot more are facing something worse, loss of a loved one. I am privileged in the sense that my loved ones and I are healthy, I am currently in one of the safest countries in the world. But the productive quarantine culture and the ‘back to business’ post-quarantine period – that doesn’t care about the fact that we are still seeing an increase in cases, official second surge announced, no definite cure or vaccine – doesn’t allow our minds to appreciate life. Capitalism is deeply rooted in our subconscious and we, unfortunately, know too well that no matter what happens, in this world, stopping means falling behind even in such times. So, I can’t stop feeling that things have been stolen from me, from us, all of us.
I have friends that I may not ever see again that I couldn’t get to say goodbye. I couldn’t hug my best friend the last time I saw her and I don’t know when I will again. I have a little flat that I won’t get to pack. I don’t want to think the worst, but this might even end up being a goodbye to my dream city, London that I won’t get to say in person. No graduation, no goodbyes, crushed future plans and not even a photo with a cap and a gown. I don’t even feel like like I’m graduating and yet I am expected to start a life, in a time in which many lives have been paused or ended. Everything feels unfinished and absent, I’m afraid that this might be a hole we won’t get to fill.
I was 8 when I dreamed of the life I wanted for myself, and I feel like corona has ripped us apart. I’m so sorry, little girl, I hope this is just a test we’ll need to pass, again. I hope these are only some extra thorns grown on our path that will make us bleed, but keep walking. I still believe in us, and the day I lose hope will be the day I lose myself.
I don’t know what to do with myself, and that’s all I know. I feel like my future has been stolen from me and my past has been let down, and that’s all I know. What’s next? That’s the last thing I know.