Alongside this blog and my social enterprise work, I freelance as a writer. I create articles about relationship health and wellbeing for clients all over the world. They post my work on their websites, blog pages and newsletter send-outs. I enjoy doing it, and it’s helped me to explore my craft beyond notebooks.
Most of the time, I write guides about online dating, blogs about relationship issues, and short pieces about how to boost your romantic experiences. But in the past month or so, I have written almost exclusively about the challenges we are all currently facing as a result of the arrival of the global pandemic.
In the past 4 weeks, I have written over thirty articles about how to cope with lockdown. I have produced articles for bloggers about how to get your wanderlust back. I have written posts about how to take care of your wellbeing during home quarantine for yoga teachers. I have even written a motivational speech for a pastor in Brooklyn, to share with his congregation!
I have found myself writing endlessly about the brighter aspects of the situation. Clients want content about how to overcome adversity, staying positive no matter what. I have delivered articles full of happiness reminders for weeks. But I've been feeling there's something amiss.
I am not asked to write often about the reality of what we are experiencing. No one wants articles about the moments where we stare mindlessly into our fridges while wondering how to get through the rest of the day. Or when we find ourselves scrolling endlessly through social media trying to find one post that actually feels relatable.
I am volunteering my time at the moment to support young women who are trapped in abusive quarantine situations. I started off believing I would mainly be signposting them to further support services. What I have discovered, is that actually these women just want a ‘real’ conversation where they can truly be heard.
I believe this is actually what we all need right now. We could all do with a listening ear that isn’t pulled away by the lure of a television screen or the bright lights of a smartphone. In fact, it's what we have all been needing for a long time. Technology has trained us to ‘skip ahead’ so often that we have become accustomed to doing so in real life.
I am sharing this with you while I sit here in what I am referring to as ‘daytime pyjamas’. My hair is scooped up into a scrunchie. I have a mug of hot tea nestled beside me, and my dogs are snoozing at my feet. As ever, they’re wonderfully oblivious to the changing scenery of the world. It’s one of my favourite things about them, actually.
If you’re not feeling great right now, you’re not alone. It’s fully acceptable to not be ‘smashing’ any goals, or coping better than you expected to. You don’t need to post smiling selfies with inspirational captions when you don’t feel authentic, as I found myself doing.
Consider this post your written permission to let whatever you're feeling rise unapologetically to the surface. Be who you are, however that might be today. Stop chasing the summer body that social media keeps taunting you about. Let go of any attempt to fit your 'old' life into this latest chapter. Switch off the news desk noise. Listen only to those that know and love you.
Make one of those people you.
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