India is reeling under the debris of a collapsed modern medical system due to the second and more devastating wave of COVID-19.
Yesterday, my city (Delhi) itself recorded over 22,000 newly confirmed cases of the virus in a single day. Another lockdown had been announced.
I’ve been giving online music lessons for the past year, and time seems to be slipping away. The subliminal depression that has crept inside me is hiding behind my functional-looking mass of flesh and bones.
Of course, there are many things to be grateful for, and while counting them, I came up with a list of all the life lessons I got during this ongoing pandemic.
Here are five things that I learned throughout the past year:
1. We are mortal
We should always be humble toward things that we have absolutely no control of. There are things happening around us that are simply beyond our influence. We only have this one life that we live, and we should be grateful for that—any sense of entitlement on top of that is just an illusion. Let’s remember this the next time we take any person or moment for granted.
2. It takes courage to be lonely
If we do not have family members living with us, life presents itself in its rawest form. The uncountable hours of me-time can be overwhelming for most of us as we are used to being distracted. If we don’t use alcohol or drugs as a way to silence the inner chaos, this pandemic can be a test of courage and the ability to spend time with ourselves.
3. Our environment affects our state of mind
The people we chose to interact with and the things we watch during this time decide how the pandemic affects our state of mind. If we can be mindful during this abundance of me-time, it can prove to be the biggest growth period for ourselves and the people around us.
4. Our relationships matter
If we are locked inside the house with a person who is physically attractive but lacks empathy, then we are doomed. We should be sure of the person we want to live with before moving in together—especially during a pandemic.
People who are only with us because of what we have to offer could freak out in this challenging phase and leave us. If the person we are sharing this experience with is supportive and truly cares about the relationship, it will actually deepen the connection. Being in lockdown together shows us their character and how loyal they can be in our shared future.
5. Life has its own plans
We can make a decision on studying in a foreign country or starting our own business, but that doesn’t mean this is what is going to happen. Last year, one month before the lockdown, when things weren’t that bad, I was planning on launching a tour and travel business. I planned everything and was about to start tours in cooperation with domestic partners, but then everything shut down, and travelling wasn’t possible.
So, my suggestion is to take things as they are. Life cannot be predicted, but we can still make plans and adjust if necessary.
We should always leave room for the unforeseeable. This thought by itself can be so liberating that we can stop being too hard on ourselves. Our self-worth is the only thing we can work on and be sure of.