Let’s talk 2020. This may sound a bit strange; You may believe me, you may not. But I’ve gone through a lot of phases and I’d like to think transformations, during this whole pandemic and crazy ass year.
But let’s back up to the beginning. It was the end of February 2020 and in 3 weeks time we were leaving for our long awaited trip to Europe. We had the whole thing booked and planned out and all paid for. We were ecstatic to say the least! The plan was to fly out to London, spend 5 days there – meet with family, do some touristy things we’ve never had the chance to do before and drink all the tea and eat all the crumpets. We were then going to jump on another plane to Italy and explore the canals of Venice and the rolling hills of Florence. *I was also going to try to sneak in another city but the hubby doesn’t know that*. A plane would take us back to London where we’d spend a couple more days before flying back. It was going to be a perfect trip. And then – the “Rona” happened.
Italy got shut down. I’m talking complete lockdown. Our dreams were crushed and we knew that we would have to reschedule that part of the trip – there was just no way around it. So during a “vacay planning” meeting between all of us going (5 in total) we decided, why not explore the UK more? None of us had been to Scotland and that seemed a perfect compliment to London. So we spent hours rearranging everything: Our schedule, the airbnbs, reserving a car. It was such a hassle but also kind of fun because it means we got to re-plan a super cool trip! We were a bit nervous since COVID-19 was still something new, but there were few cases in the UK and hardly any in the states – We thought it’d be fine!
Oh so Naive! When we were 2 weeks out things really started happening. The case count was up and places started getting shut down. We called another meeting and decided we should cancel our painstakingly planned trip. We decided, that we had a few options left:
A. Hawaii! I’ve always wanted to go but just haven’t because of money (I’ve heard it can get pricey there) and it seems like there’s always another place to be.
B. Disneyland or Disney World – I’m not choosy! We frequent Disneyland so I was hugely in favor of World!
C. Road trip to the coast: Maybe go to Santa Cruz or Canon Beach – I know… Very different locations, but again not too choosy!
It took hours, but we got things cancelled and most things refunded. It was time to choose our alternative trip – the options seemed good and we were pretty darn excited even if it wasn’t really out of the country. It had been awhile since our last trip so we were READY to get out. Over the next two weeks though we slowly had to keep crossing out our backup plans until there was nothing left. There wasn’t a place we could go that wasn’t closed or locked down.
This is what started the dark months: The time that seemed to pass slowly and so unexpectedly.
I was furloughed for 2 weeks from work. House projects seemed like a good way to pass the time so I started to work on some of those. I painted, I gardened, I redesigned things, I moved furniture around and then did it again. It was the longest 2 weeks of my life. But it wasn’t those 2 weeks that were hard. It was the time after.
Work was stressful, people asked for so much and expected the world when we’re all going through the same hardships. Don’t they understand I’d give the world if I could? We were asked to work for less money from home, Kyle was furloughed a few days a week and the money that we liked to put towards savings every paycheck started to dwindle. We underwent a period of not doing anything to avoid spending anything. I felt like my days were spent with a dark cloud hanging over my head.
I was emotionally zapped of all things creative and couldn’t imagine writing, podcasting, or even spending time with real people. Even going to work meetings was taxing. I’ve never been a depressed person, but I was really starting to feel the blues.
That’s when a good friend of mine told me she had ordered a camera and was going to learn to take pictures with it. For some reason that sparked something in me. I felt inspired for the first time in 2 months and was ready to get out again – maybe because it was something I could do in solidarity but also with people. And Maybe I finally felt like I was ready for that. In truth I may never know why I was so decided and so inspired. I grabbed my old camera and met with a friend to try to take some pictures.
They were blurry as fuck… and messed up… I felt a little defeated. I guess I expected to be able to capture what my eye saw with ease, but now I know why photographers can make so much money! When I got home I immediately started researching and watching videos and reaching out to friends that are amazing photographers. Before too long I was back at it trying to make some beauty with sunsets and people. I had found myself a teacher willing to take me a long on some of his shoots because let’s face it: it’s way easier to learn with someone than alone.
I suppose that’s what leads me to today – I’m still working on getting better. I’m still not anywhere near professional, but I love it and it makes me feel inspired to see what I can capture from mother earth. It makes me feel at peace with myself and like I’m doing something for me that I can share with others (depending on how bad it is). So even though I’ve had months of the blues and dark clouds hanging over me, I feel like I’m finally making my way out of the storm. I’m finally coming into something that inspires me to be better, do better, and be more present. Most importantly it inspires me to get outside. So in a way I need to thank 2020 because otherwise I would have kept going through life without knowing this supreme beauty. In all reality, I’ve gained new hobbies, made new friends and reconnected with old ones. All because of a pandemic that kept us locked up.